It is less than a week before I hit the trail and I’m so excited. My room is practically empty as I find a home for most of my belongings and prepare for my big adventure: Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail.
First some inspiration from another blogger who finished the trail in 2012. 5 Things To Expect In Your First 5 Days On The AT is written by guest blogger Evans Prater and posted at the blog for the book, Appalachian Trials (which I highly recommend you read if you are going on any long distance hike).
“You were made for this. Remember: this is a privilege. While many people would not choose to contemplate life’s bigger questions, to truly connect with other people, and to restore their faith in humanity, you have. Oh, and most of all, expect the unexpected.”
- I’ve moved up my start date to March 1, 2014. There’s no reason to wait around, plus this will give me more time to enjoy the trail and not rush. I have added some additional clothing to deal with potential had weather.
- I’ve worked out insurance! Seems that since I am “traveling” I qualify for travel insurance! There’s no deductible. If my backpack is stolen, that’s treated like lost luggage. And it’s much less expensive than COBRA through work for insurance that fits my needs better. Bonus: the insurance covers “extraction.” If I break a leg on the top of a mountain, the insurance will cover a helicopter to get me out and to a hospital!
- I’ve stored my things with my few remaining items with my good friend Sue. Two plastic boxes full of papers, books, a few pieces of clothing; a suitcase; a travel backpack and a guitar (which I really don’t play well, so I shouldn’t keep). Thanks again Sue!
- I’ve changed my permanent address to Ann’s house. Thanks Ann!
- Ann is also helping me with my car. It will be available for me when I finish the trail. Such a relief! I can walk from Georgia to Maine, but walking in metro Atlanta is dangerous and nearly impossible!
- I finished my taxes and filed them. Getting back money I hadn’t counted on. BONUS!
- Canceled Netflix and pre-paid my phone through the end of the hike. Those are all the bills I have!
- Made my final trip to GoodWill. All I have left are a few pieces of non-hiking clothing. As I dirty them, I’m throwing them away. That’s definitely a new experience.
- I wore out a pair of shoes training for the hike. I’ve started on a new pair of shoes that I thought I’d be wearing later. I love Merrell’s.
- I’ve got the backpack loaded, even food. And I only expect to repack it a couple dozen more times. 😉
- My friend Michael has agreed to take me to the trail on Saturday.
- I’ve had my final dental appointment. Don’t want to have problems with my teeth while hiking.
And I’ve started making arrangements for when I return, too. I had an interview with Berlitz, my first choice company to work for to teach English around the world. This is my plan to keep traveling for the foreseeable future and see the world. The interview went well and they sent me links to apply to their top three countries, all in Asia, where they typically send new hires. I’ve applied to them in this order: Thailand (probably Bangkok), China (various locations, but I’m most interested in Taiwan or Beijing), and South Korea (probably only Seoul).
Yup! It’s all falling into place. Wish me luck!