Driving to work today I felt pretty good about doing the AT’17. Most days lately I’ve felt unprepared, anxious, doubtful and even forgot I was not going to be ‘around’ (at home/work) next year. Today I felt like it was a good idea and I felt that, no matter how unprepared I am (who can REALLY be prepared) that it will be just fine, an experience I will have been glad to have had. I did not have any of the doubtful feelings of the last few weeks. I wish I could determine why some days the idea of hitting the trail on my own for six months seems like a good idea – I’d duplicate it if I could.
Some of the reasons I tend to feel anxious are: what am I going to do with my two dogs? I do not yet have the ‘proper’ equipment (a three-season tent, for example) and I need to make the time to ‘investigate’ and get it. Do I really want to hike the trail, as a woman, alone? These are my three priorities as I try to mentally prepare. There are other “minor” considerations such as quitting my job and what I will do when I return, spending all my savings on doing the trail while still making house and car payments (for these items I won’t be using), and my education credentials to maintain my (professional) license so I can work when I get back to the real world.
I know no one can really prepare for every conceivable problem or situation in life no matter what we are doing and I try to remind myself that, although I want to be as prepared as I can be, there will be events, mistakes, situations, etc that just cannot be known in advance for even the best prepared person.
Most of the blogs I read are positive. Sometimes minor injuries are mentioned, emotional ups and downs, etc. but mostly bloggers seem to be gravitating (writing anyway) toward the ‘good stuff’. I’ve read one blogger had to leave the trail for health reasons but I believe he got back on and one other blogger seriously considered giving up (I don’t believe they did though). I, personally, like to read about the things that are not so pleasant. As a future thru-hiker I want to be aware of the things that you don’t necessarily think of before-hand. We all know that the weather is a factor and minor injuries (blisters, aches) and everyone is constantly hungry. The ‘hardships’ or incidences that befall a thru-hiker and what they did to overcome it is what gets my attention.
Overall….I’m glad to hear about all the good things bloggers have to say…it IS encouraging just knowing that so many continue on the arduous journey despite all that happens or just the emotional roller-coaster of being away from family/friends & comforts.