Put Down the Calculator

There are moments, lately, when I feel an enormous burden of guilt over my decision to hike the trail. I feel like I’m hurting the people I love (boyfriend, cat, parents). Hopefully, they will be proud of me when I finish, and not worry –too much– during my trip. Heck, hopefully, they’ll come hike the last 5 miles with me and carry a bottle of champagne up Big K.

There’s also the issue of money. Hiking the trail isn’t really that expensive after you purchase all your gear. I just need money for meals in town, ramen noodles, peanut butter, weekly $15 hostel stays, occasional shoe replacements.. should be like $3000-4000. Not too bad for a 5 month adventure. The biggest hit from hiking the Appalachian Trail, financially, is all the money I “lose” from not working my normal job. Thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. Ok Acorn, it’s time to put down the calculator and breathe. Life isn’t all about money.

There are things that money can’t buy. I want them.

I need to stop thinking and just get out there. I know it will all make sense when I lace up my boots, and start following the white blazes.

 il_570xN.371048576_3d08-2(my acorn stamp for shelter books)

Categories: Pre-Hike | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Put Down the Calculator

  1. Chuck McCoy

    Leaving loved ones for that length of time is a hard choice. In my case I ultimately chose not to through hike because I could not leave my wife of 52 years, who has stage 4 breast cancer. Making your decision to go will, I predict, ultimately be rewarded by your success and also those who truly love you will still love you in the end. But don’t expect that while you are out there that they will all understand why you went off on this high adventure leaving them behind I wish you good fortune and happy trails! I will be following you all the way.

  2. Acorn,
    Oh girl, don’t I know it! I’m already concerned about those same things, and my thru-hike is a few years’ away. I know my husband won’t be able to hike all of it with me, and I’ll need to take a leave of absence from my job (hopefully they’re ok with that!), etc. I’ll also need to save up even more in advance to help pay the bills while I’m away. Ugh! But it’ll be worth it! I know it! And it’ll be worth it for you!
    Love the stamp!
    ~Wood Thrush

  3. Acorn, I have been following your posts and Facebook entries. Do not allow these distractions to divert your purpose. I plan to do the hike when I’m 60 ( a short time away). Though I will not have the lost money issue, I will have others–like the physical obstacles at that age. The point is there is no perfect time to do this–like there is no perfect time to have kids. You have to live your life. If you can get away, do it. The negative reactions of others often has some jealousy mixed in. I have many friends who had planned big things but waited too long and then lost the opportunity. Your hike will be great! It will change you in many positive ways. Some of those you know will NEVER understand. Have a great time!

  4. Don’t worry about the money you’ll lose by not working. The adventure is so worth it. You’ll come to terms with the guilt. You might feel bad at first, but once you’ve made some progress on the trail, your family is going to be bragging to everyone they know.

  5. The fact that you already have the plan in motion means it’s the right time. Down the road you could have a kid in school or something that would keep you from the trail for years. I think money (numbers stored on a computer?) is worthless compared to an AT experience.

  6. Sa-Se obs

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  7. Keaton jlrg

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