It’s hard to explain exactly how I feel with less than a week to go until I start the trail. There is so much preparation involved with planning a thru-hike between budgeting, gear, research, etc. I’ve probably read more books in the past month than I did in college. It’s a crazy feeling knowing that everything I’ve been working on for the past 5 months is about to come into play.
In all honestly I’m feeling pretty emotional about starting the trail. I’m nervous, scared, excited, etc. Most of the time they’re so many thoughts going through my head that it’s hard to think about actually waking the trail. My mom closed on her house sale this week and come April I’ll also technically be homeless, which is kind of crazy. However, it’s quite exhilarating to leave a place I know I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in. I’m excited to get out into the wild and experience everything in raw form.
Sharing this experience with my mom means the world to me. We’re both in a similar mindset in regards to this being our “fresh start”. We’ll both be without a home, missing our loved ones, and setting off onto our first long-term backpacking trip. There are going to be plenty of days of laughing, crying, cursing, sweating, and getting to know ourselves better as we get closer to Katahdin. I consider my mom to be one of my best friends and I know this will only draw us closer.
Knowing that I only have a handful of things left to do is a weird feeling. I’ve been working extremely hard to make this happen and it’s so close to becoming a reality, which may be what scares me the most (but in a good way). My emotions are quickly rolling in about leaving. I’ve received so much positivity from my close ones and I couldn’t thank them enough for already being on my side before I begin this journey.
Despite all these emotions, I’m keeping my head up and trying to remain calm. I’m already starting to learn more about myself that I didn’t know before, which is part of the reason I decided to walk the Appalachian Trail. I’m finding healthy ways to relieve stress and physical pain, like yoga. Everything I’m preparing myself for now I believe will help me on and off the trail. Perhaps that is what i need to keep telling myself on the days my mind seems to be restless. It’s time to start believing that the AT is going to happen.