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doobe01
02-07-2007, 13:00
Ok, I posted on here awhile back stating my thru-hike start date of March 9th, 2007. I have recently gotten a good job with great benefits, the rest of school paid for by this company etc. And now the path I am on has made me divert from my thru-hike because of this opportunity that came out of nowhere. I am conflicted on what I should do... I know the trail will always be there, and ready for me when the time is right. I was so excited and driven for this thing to start. I had forgot about it for about 5 months and now that my start date is approaching I am regretting my decison not to go. I just want to quit work and head on down the trail. Anybody in a similar situation? I know what I want to do, but not sure that things will be as good when I get back to civilization. Any suggestions? I need some words of encouragement...Thanks

Nick

chicote
02-07-2007, 13:12
Nick, this is a tough decision. I luckily or not luckily have not entered that decision so I'm quiting my job which has great benefits but leads no where. So the decision was easier for me. At the same time I didn't look for new jobs so I wouldn't encounter the position that you are in ó only because I wouldn't want to toss up between the two. One thing I hate is being in debt. So my advice would be to stick it out with this company for a few years and see if you can get your schooling paid for. Once that is done and you have some extra trail money saved head out on the trail. But this is only a suggestion. If you didn't have school to pay for I'd say go ahead get your butt on the trail. But finances are finances and the trail will be there.

HTH

Fannypack
02-07-2007, 13:22
Suggestion: use your enthusiasm for thru-hiking to prompt u to hike more on weekends, holidays & vacations. Use this extra "practice time" (before the thru-hike) to try out backpacking & camping techniques that interest you.

Just remember if u decide not to thru-hike this year, u are not failing or quitting, just doing what is best for u now.

Good luck w/ your decision.

cargousa
02-07-2007, 13:40
I was in a similiar position 15 years ago, I chose to do the job route and am glad I did. I've got a supportive wife now that I didn't back then, and a financially secure future. And sure enough, the trail is still here 15 years later and I can now set off without any worries about if I should have done this, or should have done that.

The funny thing about doubts are that they can hike just as fast as you! If you set off from springer with fear uncertainty and doubt dogging your heels, you'll just be sharing your tent with them the whole way to Maine. <g>

HYOH and LYOL (live your own life)
just my $.02
--cargo

Frosty
02-07-2007, 13:50
I had forgot about it for about 5 months and now that my start date is approaching I am regretting my decison not to go.You will have second thoughts on any major decision you make in your life. This is perfectly normal. Had you decided to hike instead of taking the job, you would now be wondering if you shouldn't have gone with the job and gotten your bills paid off.

Second thoughts are good, as they show that you are not drifting through life and are thinking about what is best for you.

If not hiking the trail haunts you for the next year, you can always quit your job next spring and hike in 2008. In the great scheme of your life, one year will not amount to much difference, and you will have paid off some bills and maybe saved up some money so you can enjoy your thru-hike without money worries.

But I suspect that once your start date passes, you will be okay with the decision you made. You'll look at trail journals, figure out where you'd be and be sad for an hour, but overall your first decision was likely the right one for you.

Anyway, I've found out that all life decisions work out for the best. Just about every major decision I made in my life worked out okay in the end. The short term was kind of rough sometimes, though :D

Good luck whatever you do.

Webs
02-07-2007, 14:01
i would take the job. debt is such a huge but under-emphasized problem for the majority of Americans, and it just keeps on gnawing at you until you get it under control.

Boat Drinks
02-07-2007, 14:05
I turned down a promotion with a hefty pay raise, plus a 10 grand signing bonus. I would have had to move to Jax Fl, but I would have still been near the water. I knew if I took the job, it would have put my hike off for years. The time to hike, for me, is now. So I turned it down and then later resigned. That kinda threw the company a curve ball!!:D

madstang
02-07-2007, 14:07
Long post on a tough choice - impending life long regret or finacial security.

Life would be so much simpler without the need for money. The only answers you can get from folks like me is in the form of personal experience stories. I have section hiked parts of the trail. I've never had more than a week long vacation to invest in the wilderness experience after "life" kicked in with jobs, debt, family,...responsibility. I am 45 yrs old now. When I was 15, my father told me that he would help me do the trail - solo hiking for several months scared the crap out of me then (1976 - dang, I'm old).

Now, in retrospect, I wish I had taken him up on the offer. Not going then is one thing that I have always regretted - Time passes and never makes its way back. While we are at its mercy, we all have to do our best for ourselves and our families (responsibilities). The choice is down to you and you alone. If you are determined that you will do it - someday. Set that time in stone and do not allow "life" to alter that plan. Those that do not have a relationship with the wilderness do not understand the attraction. Don't expect them to understand or support your hiking aspiration, but don't let them sway your long trail dream either. If not this March - make a stand on when (maybe April! ;) Not much help I know.

I tell my son that if he can live a life without regret, that is as close to perfect as life can be.

He's 20 and on the trail (freezing his !@# off) right now. He called last night and is enjoying his hike immensly - except for the cold

Remember the Nike commercial. Make a plan - get out of debt - save the money needed - just do it! Advice from an old fart for what it is worth. you'll be 45 some day to.

4eyedbuzzard
02-07-2007, 14:19
I have recently gotten a good job with great benefits, the rest of school paid for by this company etc... I am conflicted on what I should do... I know the trail will always be there, and ready for me when the time is right.

The AT will always be there. The job, with benefits and school tuition may not.


...I just want to quit work and head on down the trail. Anybody in a similar situation?

Yeah, but only for the past 30 years:rolleyes:


I know what I want to do, but not sure that things will be as good when I get back to civilization. Any suggestions?

I'd at least stay long enough to pick up on the education/school benefits and finish any degree you may be working towards. A thru-hike is a 6 month vacation, it's not a necessity of life. IMO, in the end a good job will make ALL of your life more enjoyable than just the memories of a hike. Ya know, some 80 to 90 percent of thru-hikers figure out way before Katahdin that they are probably section-hikers at heart anyway. Not saying you wouldn't finish, but long weekend trips and a few weeklong ones can also bring lots of happiness. Then you can pick back up on the nagging thru-hike with all us old buzzards when you get older.

doobe01
02-07-2007, 14:37
Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions. Makes me feel a little bit more confident and content with the decision I have to make. I am 24, with 3 years of college under my belt. Prolly another 2 years left since I am transferring to a different university. Like I have told myself and my family, this opportunity is just too good to give up. I just felt like I was giving up on a dream and that is something I don't do. I plan on doing it someday...probably after I get my bachelors. Right after!!! I live in New Hampshire, an hour away from my favorite mountains. I hike a lot and I guess that will have to be enough for now. Thanks for the help.

jkashley1234
02-07-2007, 14:42
Well, ok for me at the age of 32, I'm not all that wise or that
Stupid, so here it goes. Iím just now getting my MBA, and I have bills, my family is not so happy with me not finding a $$$job, and Iíve had the job offers. For me I just canít see myself waiting. Iíve finished one part of my life (school) and now Iím on my way to the next (AT). Iím not getting any younger, and who is to say if I take a job that Iíll be around to enjoy it by the time Iím 65 and retire, and then I might not be able to hike because of health issues. What I guess Iím saying is we donít know what will happen down the line, and if you feel that giving up the trail for the job is more important for you right now in your life then keep the job. Iíll always have bills, so Iím not worried about that ever changing (Iím an accountant, so I know about bills), so Iíll take the trail, and when I get back Iíll find a job, and in a year Iíll start working on my PhD. Itís all about what your goal is and if you can live without one gratification right now for another. I think that is Utility? Good luck in lifeÖand all the bestÖ.laterÖ.

the_iceman
02-07-2007, 18:16
I waited until now. I grew up on the AT and have wanted to hike it since I was 10. Life has been a series of compromises but for most of us that is just what life is. You meet people or get jobs that change your current course or direction. If you keep getting pulled back to the trail you will find a way to hike it.

The more you have and the more entrenched in ďlifeĒ you become the harder it will be to break out and thru-hike. Once you have a family it is probably put off 20 years.

Money canít buy you love but it is a great pain killer and enabler. Jobs donít last forever. You are young. Maybe get some cash together and some experience on the resume and then make a run at the trail. Two years at a job is enough to put in to not look like a job hopper. Less than a year is not good.