Tell Me Why? Ain’t Nothin’ but a [Thru-Hike]…

Since I first heard about it, I have always wanted to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Something about the mind-boggling idea of walking 2,650 miles on a trail going through deserts, alpine forests, mountain ranges, and pacific rainforests lit a fire inside me that never went out. I mean, my phone screensaver is literally a picture of the Northern Terminus! This summer, after years (literally) of watching videos, reading books, and obsessing over this mythical trail, I will finally get a chance to set foot on it.

But why do I want to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail?

Proof that this is my actual screensaver.

Routine Is the Enemy of Time

At 25 years old, “adulthood” is creeping up on me, bringing along its set of existential questions. What is my direction? What is my purpose?

One thing I know is that I am afraid of getting caught in the spiderweb of modern society’s expectations of what a successful life should look like. I have seen many people living in unhappy circumstances because they were conditioned to follow life’s requirements—home, career, and children. People who traded the things that they had dreamt to do growing up for a life of security, conformity, and conservatism. Only to wake up one day with the saddening realization that their whole life had gone so fast and was now behind them. That is my greatest fear.

Routine is the enemy of time. It makes it fly by. It puts our brains to sleep and makes us live on autopilot. We become disconnected from ourselves while living in a connected world. Yet, I remember as a kid, everything was new and exciting. Our brains were so turned on, learning something new every day. The world surrounding us was fascinating. We were here, living in the moment without any distractions. But as we grew up, the guarantees of a secure future eventually damaged our adventurous spirit.

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

—Christopher McCandless

So, I decided to take control back and be the pilot of my own life. 

I want to be aware of every day in my life, live every moment, and restore this childlike excitement. And the Pacific Crest Trail is a great opportunity for that. Because being outdoors is where I feel the most alive, free, and happy. Because I want to wake up every day and be dumbstruck by beauty – not only the scenery but the people too. Because I want to get out of my comfort zone to learn and become my best self. Because I want to embrace my passion for adventure and reconnect with nature. Because I want to make life my new playground.

Finally, I want to wake up one day when I’m old, look back on my life, exhausted but content, and think: “I have done all the things I dreamt of doing. I had a beautiful life!”

And that is why I am thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year.

Make life count.

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