Week Before the PCT: Reflecting and Visiting San Diego
With a long to-do list and somewhat mentally preparing myself to leave home for months, I took the week off of work to enjoy my last moments in New Hampshire with family and friends.
I packed my bag many times, went on countless errands, printed my permit, and organized boxes for my mom to mail to me. The prep is done. Where did all the time go?
The only things on my mind the past couple of months had been saving money, gear, and getting on the trail. It felt so far away. Now, everything has fallen into place. What I did not prepare for was the emotional response I’d have this week. Home is something I’ve strived to define for myself.
I moved back to NH in September. Going to sleep the first night was so peaceful, no sirens! Waking up the next morning to see the sunrise shining through the pine trees was heartwarming. I was so happy to be back.
Most of my friends were at college, I knew I was going to be working my ass off to get to the trail in the spring. I didn’t know how much time I’d have to spend socially. I put my head down and worked.
The Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse is a beautifully illustrated novel by Charlie Mackery, it was gifted to me for Christmas. I read it in 10 minutes and cried for longer. The four friends meet each other through the book one by one. On their journey they ponder love, courage, companionship, honesty, home, and the beauty of life. All the sappy life concepts that’ll make an emotional girl like me tear up instantly.
Most pages in this book resonate with me, but there are a few that helped me see something deeply. They’re sitting on a tree branch when the boy says, “Sometimes I feel lost”.
“Me too”, said the mole. “But we love you and love brings you home. I think everyone is just trying to get home”.
“When the big things feel out of control, focus on what you love right under your nose”.
I have realized that home is not a place. It’s where you love. Where you are loved. It’s a feeling that can be anywhere.
I reconnected with childhood best friends and spent time with family. It felt like nothing had changed. It’s always comforting being around these friends. It feels like home.
Some of the most meaningful friendships come into our lives unexpectedly. There are people whose energies uplift me instantly, we click. It’s refreshing when someone’s energy matches yours perfectly. It feels like home. I met some incredible people who made it very difficult to say goodbye.
The value of relationships, especially healthy ones are a significant necessity. Equally, I remember relationships do not define me. I can not rely on people for my happiness. There are further elements to love in life.
I spent a couple days in San Diego before I hit the trail. I visited friends, went to the kayak shop, tried to relax, sat in the sun for 30 minutes and got a sunburn.
I went to target to buy a new charging cable and power bank, returned some things at rei and bought new shorts. I even made a gear video for YouTube. I think I have two subscribers now…
I wrote some letters to send back to NH, stressed over my gear way too much, and had a girls night. It was nice seeing them again. Not much is different here, It’s like I never left.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m excited but a little scared to be alone.
I’m leaving to a place of uncertainty. A beautiful place of uncertainty nonetheless. I will meet many more incredible people. I will love just as I did in San Diego, in New Hampshire. I will love the process, the beauty of the world around me, the tears, I will love every single day, and that is what will make me feel at home. Knowing I have those same feelings in places waiting for me. The ability to love opens doors to you anywhere you go.
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