Getting There is the Hardest Part
Let’s talk pre-trail vulnerability—is leaving the hardest part?
A huge part of getting yourself on the PCT to go have all that outside adventure fun is a whirlwind of permit lotteries, visa appointments, interviews at the embassy, booking flights, presuming covid travel bans are over, leaving a job you enjoy, packing up your first solo-flat, and most importantly assigning your nearest and dearest different house plants to take care of.
Moving out, moving on, January 6th, 11:30 p.m.
I moved house today. It was a ‘PCT prep’ move—that’s what I’m calling it. My tenancy was either up or due for a six-month renewal—that wasn’t going to happen. If I want to do the PCT, I need to be rent-free by April when I’ll leave the country and have loads of fun in the mountains.
I’ve moved in with a friend I met at university way back when. And now here we are, roommates! A few of our friendship group have passed through this house already, so the room feels less like a guest room and more of a ‘your friend lived here when they had that really shitty breakup’ room, and now you’re here because you’re breaking up with your old life. I decide it’s like a zen halfway house and laugh at myself.
Moving Is Weird
We put all of our silly little things in silly little boxes and move them from one bigger box we called home into a different box we now call home. Then we take the things out of the boxes and scatter them around various places in our box in the box of home. Assigning objects meaning. I’ve been trying to own fewer possessions. Why do I have two sleeping bags and two tents? Don’t worry, they are already in the charity shop donations pile. Dinner plates are annoying too—I had two (two whole plates!) but they both have cracks in and look ready to break—I throw them away cathartically. I have too! many! house plants! I’ll give them away to friends and family before I leave.
This is kind of fun, packing up a life.
I’m good at it for some reason. I’ve often done it when I get itchy feet. I’ve gone traveling or worked abroad, studied for a master’s degree, or even moved back home to my parents (yikes). We don’t get a lot of time on this earth-home, I want to spend mine with variety and weirdness. “Being comfortable can be good, but make sure you do something that pushes you out of that comfort zone every once in a while,” is something I always tell myself.
I feel like the blank pages you sometimes get in between new chapters of a book.
The ones you either skip through quickly to find out what happens next, or the ones you use as a break from the story so far—letting the book rest for a bit on the bedside table. I’m going to do both with my blank pages in between chapters. I’m going to work lots & earn extra money, train for my first marathon, and hope I get fit AF so I can skip to the crazy 2,650 miles hiking part.
I am also going to enjoy every last moment with my friends and family here in the city. I sound dramatic, like I’m going away to be euthanized or something. Maybe I’m going away to be reborn again- to add a massive change in my life, to mix things up a bit, to meet new people, experience weird and beautiful new things. To hike, hike SO MUCH. To live outside for six months. Omg.
Fast forward and it’s now freshly turned April.
In a few days’ time, all that is left to do is just show up and start walking. It’s going to hurt in so many different ways. It’s going to hurt my heart. I can’t wait. Cue cute cat-with-the-pack pic.
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