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reeree123
08-09-2007, 01:10
My boyfriend is trying to get me to go hike the AT with him...only problem is that I dont understand how you just walk away from life for 6 months. Ya know what I mean? what about rent? family? pets? jobs? It must not be too hard since a lot of people do it just I just dont understand. Any advice?

Uncle Silly
08-09-2007, 02:38
hmm. why assume that rent + family + pets + jobs = life? isn't life where you live it? being on the trail is just a slightly different life than you're used to.

think of it as a sabbatical, if you will. lots of folks take sabbaticals for whatever reason -- often to work on a project or goal outside of someone's main job. take your pets along... or get your family to look after them. involve your family in your trip, by staying in contact with them while on the trail, by involving them in the planning stages, by relying on them to send out your maildrops.

or decide you don't want to spend 6 months away from your job, your rent, your pets. let your boyfriend go on his own, and be part of his support team while he's gone. join him for a weekend, a week, however much you feel comfortable with.

so let me ask you this. are you more afraid of the unknown experience of the trail, or of leaving the life you know for a while?

Hana_Hanger
08-09-2007, 03:59
Everyone goes for so many different reasons. I go to escape the very things you mentioned above. Other reasons as well; Peace, Solitude, add in the love of mountains, rain forests.

A Poem from Robert Service sums it pretty well:

"There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stand still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest."

Remember this from Horace Kephart who was known as the "Dean of American Campers"

"To be free, unbeholden, irresponsible for the nouce! Free to go or come at one's own sweet will, to tarry where he lists, to do this , or do that, or do nothing, as the humor veers; and for hours'
"It shall be what o'clock I say it is!"

"This instinct for a free life in the open is at natural and wholesome as the gratification of hunger and thirst and love."


So if you can go...go!
My hubby buys a house, puts the furniture in place and it would stay there till he dies. Me...I buy a house, change the furniture two or three times a year, as well as want to change houses, and states in which to live. I must be on the move and love change. We have been together 34 years, and worked it out...I travel...he rarely comes with me...we are both happy!
You have to choose what is best for you.

The General
08-09-2007, 04:04
This is a good question, Also one that is difficult to explain to other people especialy those who have never experienced the freedom of the Trail. In late 2002 I discovered the Trail existed by reading an article in The National Geograhfic Magazine, I was imediatly hooked and the desire to hike the AT became all consuming. I am married with children I have responsibilities to others, I had a Job and all the trappings of "normal" life. Why on earth would I want to leave all that I had built up over the years to go hike in the woods not just any woods either Wood's in a far away land for six months over some fairly serious terain. This was going to hurt would my wife still be there when I got back?? would my Job?? would I even survive?

Well I hiked and survived and am now in the process of doing it all over again just in case the first one was a dream. My wife is still there my kid's a little older my responsibilities pretty much the same. I got springer fever in the spring after my Thru in 2004 just like people said I would, it ate away at me all year until I had to confess to my wife that I was having an ilicit affair not with another woman as other men might but with 2,175 miles of woods earth and rocks. I don't know if she realy understands or whether she no longer cares but the fact is I am hiking again in 2008. Do I feel guilty? your dammed right I do hugely however not enough to stay at home and make the familys life a missery because I can't go spend six months with my other passion. So I plan in detail so as all my bills will be covered so, my wife will have her allowance as normal I make a point of talking about the trail trying to get them involved as much as I can. Then when I am on the trail I call when I get to town not much but it helps. What will I do if I come home form the AT and my wife and children are gone??? WHY THE PCT OF COURSE> Life is to short to worry about what is around the corner get out there and take it head on.

NICKTHEGREEK
08-09-2007, 07:37
My boyfriend is trying to get me to go hike the AT with him...only problem is that I dont understand how you just walk away from life for 6 months. Ya know what I mean? what about rent? family? pets? jobs? It must not be too hard since a lot of people do it just I just dont understand. Any advice?
When you ain't got nothing, you've got nothing to lose as the lyric goes.

taildragger
08-09-2007, 08:51
My boyfriend is trying to get me to go hike the AT with him...only problem is that I dont understand how you just walk away from life for 6 months. Ya know what I mean? what about rent? family? pets? jobs?

I think getting away from all that is what I love about hiking, when I'm pitching a tent or finding some ground to sleep on under the stars, I don't have to worry about rent or any of the other annoyances of life. It's an utter freedom that I wish that I could be enjoying right now.

Jim Adams
08-09-2007, 09:11
The feeling of freedom while out there cannot be found anywhere else that I've looked!

geek

Crazy Larry #1
08-09-2007, 09:27
Go with him. And there will be a another door of life opened up to you. Pay your existing bills off and take a walk because it seems to me that you just may enjoy it......................

Grumpy Ol' Pops
08-09-2007, 09:30
It's called a dream, and it's something your boyfriend has been wanting to do for some time, evidently. Why does he want you to go with him? Because he cares enough about you to want to share it with you!

Creek Dancer
08-09-2007, 09:34
You are only 19! You will have the rest of your life to work, pay a mortgage, raise a family, get in debt and all that stuff. If you want to go, go now while you are young. Believe me, it's much harder when you have more responsibilities, which is what I struggle with now.:sun

RockyBob
08-09-2007, 09:36
You are only 19! You will have the rest of your life to work, pay a mortgage, raise a family, get in debt and all that stuff. If you want to go, go now while you are young. Believe me, it's much harder when you have more responsibilities, which is what I struggle with now.:sun

Ditto!!!!!!!!!!!

jesse
08-09-2007, 09:44
You did not mention if ya'll do any hiking/camping/backpacking on weekends. If so, do you enjoy it. If you enjoy the outdoors, and being with your boy friend I say go for it. You are 19. There will never be a better time. Will family be willing to care for your pets? When you get back, you will be 19 or 20, that is plenty of time to start "life". The only reason not to do it would be if you just can't stand being in the woods, or you do not like walking up hill, a lot.

Time To Fly 97
08-09-2007, 09:45
All your concerns are valid. Try not to get overwhelmed by them and tackle one at a time. for example:

House:

Time To Fly 97
08-09-2007, 09:56
All your concerns are valid and normal coming from a responsible person, which it sounds like you are. You probably haven't got past these concerns yet to really think about what your husband is proposing. Many people thru-hike and have gone through the process of shutting down normal life and making plans to restart it back up again after a thru-hike...so there are answers to all those concerns you have and plenty of advice for the asking if you need it. Basically, you do one thing at a time and before you know it, the list is done. It is actually fun to think ourside the box.

Please know that your husband is offering you a priceless gift that so very few people get in life. Have you really lived yet? Have you ever taken 6 months off for yourself? Imagine how cool this would be to do this with your husband and how well you would know each other afterwards. The working world is always there and 6 months won't change anything over the course of a career.

Hike the AT. You will thank yourself everyday for the rest of your life.

Happy hiking!

TTF

JAK
08-09-2007, 10:24
Such treks might seem to be naturally less natural to women.
But modern life might be neither natural to men nor to women.
So it seems quite natural that some women might also seek such passages.

Perhaps it has more to do with age, and seasons, and what you might be seeking.

THE WINTER FIELDS
Roberts, Charles G. D. (1860-1943)

WINDS here, and sleet, and frost that bites like steel.
The low bleak hill rounds under the low sky.
Naked of flock and fold the fallows lie,
Thin streaked with meagre drift. The gusts reveal
By fits the dim grey snakes of fence, that steal
Through the white dusk. The hill-foot poplars sigh,
While storm and death with winter trample by,
And the iron fields ring sharp, and blind lights reel.

Yet in the lonely ridges, wrenched with pain,
Harsh solitary hillocks, bound and dumb,
Grave glebes close-lipped beneath the scourge and chain,
Lurks hid the germ of ecstasy--the sum
Of life that waits on summer, till the rain
Whisper in April and the crocus come.

JAK
08-09-2007, 10:29
Some day I would like to find myself in some desert. I enjoy the challenge of a winter hike. It provides a better balance of keeping both my mind and my body busy, to reveal a soul. I don't seem to have to travel as far to find myself lost, or for things to get interesting. Perhaps I should start with a cold desert, one I might already know by some aquaintance, or find familiar. Hot or cold, or simply silent, I would enjoy some time some day unfolding some other deserts secrets.

wallace
08-09-2007, 10:40
If I had my life to live over:

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.

I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live
sensibly and sanely hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I've had my moments,
And if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I've been one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

Nadine Stair,
85 years old.

Miu
08-09-2007, 10:43
My boyfriend is trying to get me to go hike the AT with him...only problem is that I dont understand how you just walk away from life for 6 months. Ya know what I mean? what about rent? family? pets? jobs? It must not be too hard since a lot of people do it just I just dont understand. Any advice?
I'm trying to get my boyfriend to hike the AT with me, and he just doesn't understand :)

taildragger
08-09-2007, 10:48
If you're gone for 6 months, do you really need to worry about rent, ditch the house or the apt in exchange for a tent, tarp, or a hammock.

Do this while you are young, it will be the greatest thing. I'm only 23, but now after having to pay off medical bills, and other issues with "life", I'm finding that I might not have time for years to do the AT (The whole plan of medschool or a Ph.D. is taking a large chunk of my life). If I had been able to get out into the woods for a longer time when I was 19, I might not be taking 6 years to get out of college with a process engineering education, only to realize that its not what I like.

If you haven't really been hiking much, get your boy toy to take you out on some weekend adventures and see how you like it. I think that I have yet to take someone hiking that didn't enjoy it in the end, not many get bit by the bug like most of us hear have, but they still want to get out and do dayhikes.

And, as was mentioned in other posts, if you don't want to do the hike, support him, maybe do some days with him. I know that if I were on a long distance hike and my girlfriend suprised me one day, I'd be exstatic, I'd probably propose on the spot if she brought me a nice cool porter as well (I know whats important in this world, a good partner and good beer and dancing bananas :banana)

So, I guess what I am trying to say, is do it, if not, still have fun with him being on the trail. His stories alone will make you want to do it.

boarstone
08-09-2007, 12:32
My boyfriend is trying to get me to go hike the AT with him...only problem is that I dont understand how you just walk away from life for 6 months. Ya know what I mean? what about rent? family? pets? jobs? It must not be too hard since a lot of people do it just I just dont understand. Any advice?

Honey, I'm 53 years old and haven't hiked the AT yet because of life's responsibilities! Parts of it, but only in NH and here in Maine. I have a huge chunk of it in my own state and can't even get the Maine section done! I have -no kids at home-no husband-no mortgage-a cranky male housemate that has been trying to stop me in everything I want to do.....my opinion? Go for it! Hike w/him until you can't or don't want to do it any longer, come off trail, regroup and maybe you'll want to pick it up with him again later on. It'll be a soul search, you'll learn to work as a TEAM under very stressfull-at-times situations. If you can survive hiking together you'll be fine "ever after":banana .

Grumpy Ol' Pops
08-09-2007, 12:37
My boyfriend is trying to get me to go hike the AT with him...only problem is that I dont understand how you just walk away from life for 6 months. Ya know what I mean? what about rent? family? pets? jobs? It must not be too hard since a lot of people do it just I just dont understand. Any advice?

Reeree123,
I'm not posting this for sympathy but to try to help you understand something about yourself and your boyfriend.

At age 44, I lost my beautiful 42-year old wife to breast cancer after a five year illness. We were both coming up to a time in life where we wanted to relax more and spend more leisure time together. We had been looking for a weekend/vacation home near the water and I had the papers to get the boat I'd always wanted. We were married for 24 years at the time she passed away and had two wonderful children, a nice home, good vacations, and plenty of "stuff". When she got sick, all those plans and dreams went somewhere to be never found again.
All those physical things mean nothing to me today! If I could have her back for just the time it would take to do that six-month walk, I'd gladly give it all up in exchange!

You have an opportunity to spend time with the person who could become your life partner -- use the time to be sure you are compatible with each other in a long-term committed relationship. After all, you'll be together 24-7-180 or so! You have everything ahead of you. Enjoy your young life before time sneaks up and kicks you in the backside!!!

thestin
08-09-2007, 13:18
Hiking the AT is hard both physically and mentally. If reeree123 doesn't have a burning desire to walk the AT, then it might be a good idea if she stayed home and supported her boyfriend by doing maildrops and letters.

I'm not slamming anybody, or trying to start something. If anyone feels forced to walk the trail they're probably not going to enjoy it, and that unhappiness will also affect their hiking partner.

JAK
08-09-2007, 13:36
I say give yourself a week head start. Make him chase you. That should give you time to decide whether or not you want to slow down, and him to decide whether or not to speed up. :D

bulldog49
08-09-2007, 13:37
Hiking the AT is hard both physically and mentally. If reeree123 doesn't have a burning desire to walk the AT, then it might be a good idea if she stayed home and supported her boyfriend by doing maildrops and letters.

I'm not slamming anybody, or trying to start something. If anyone feels forced to walk the trail they're probably not going to enjoy it, and that unhappiness will also affect their hiking partner.

I agree thestin. Long distance hiking is not for everyone. If she has to ask questions like that, it's probably not for her. I'd love for my wife to accompany me when I do my thru hike, but she feels the same was as reeree, so I'm not pushing for her to do so. It's a huge undertaking and you have to want to do it for yourself, not to please someone else.

Jim Adams
08-09-2007, 19:40
Honey, I'm 53 years old and haven't hiked the AT yet because of life's responsibilities! Parts of it, but only in NH and here in Maine. I have a huge chunk of it in my own state and can't even get the Maine section done! I have -no kids at home-no husband-no mortgage-a cranky male housemate that has been trying to stop me in everything I want to do.....my opinion? Go for it! Hike w/him until you can't or don't want to do it any longer, come off trail, regroup and maybe you'll want to pick it up with him again later on. It'll be a soul search, you'll learn to work as a TEAM under very stressfull-at-times situations. If you can survive hiking together you'll be fine "ever after":banana .

Very good advice! Waiting can just cause more stumbles. Eventually you may stumble too much to get back up.
Go with him until you decide whether you want to finish it with him or you've had enough and just want to go home and support his finish. Either ourcome, I feel sure that you will end up seeing his "why" and know him more!
:sun
geek

JAK
08-10-2007, 01:44
All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
We can be like they are

reeree123
08-10-2007, 02:01
Thanks guys....your advice has been really helpful :)

jrwiesz
08-10-2007, 02:19
...only problem is that I dont understand how you just walk away from life for 6 months....I just dont understand. Any advice?

Try thinking of it as "walking to life" or "walking for life"...then maybe, you'll have a better understanding.:sun

SawnieRobertson
08-10-2007, 09:47
All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
We can be like they are

I like this. Who's the poet?--Kinnickinic

SawnieRobertson
08-10-2007, 09:50
Try thinking of it as "walking to life" or "walking for life"...then maybe, you'll have a better understanding.:sun

Another quotable. I too have family detractors who think of my hiking as insane because I am not financially independent enough, because I am not fit enough, because . . ., because . . ., because . . . .

Yep, I think I'll toss that one at 'em. Thanks.--Kinnickinic

JAK
08-10-2007, 10:15
I like this. Who's the poet?--KinnickinicFellow by the name of Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser. Glad you like it too.
You might be more familiar with it in this context:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rW-YvYmUE&mode=related&search=


Here is what Dharma says about it:
"I felt that I had just achieved some kind of resonance with the psychology of people when I came up with that, I was actually kind of appalled when I first realized that some people were seeing it as an advertisement for suicide or something that was not my intention at all. It is, like, not to be afraid of it (as opposed to actively bring it about). It's basically a love song where the love transcends the actual physical existence of the partners."

JAK
08-10-2007, 10:39
Here is a verse I associate it with, and with nature of course. This is an English translation of course. Interestingly, the original is understood to be the first poem written in modern Italian, or at least Umbrian, rather than Latin. It is absolutely beautiful when sung in Umbrian, but I can no longer find a copy on the internet.


The Canticle of the Creatures
-Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, honor and blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong;
no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

We praise You, Lord, for all Your creatures,
especially for Brother Sun,
who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
of You Most High, he bears your likeness.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars,
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

We praise You, Lord, for Brothers Wind and Air,
fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Water,
so useful, humble, precious and pure.

We praise You, Lord, for Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night.
He is beautiful, playful, robust, and strong.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Earth,
who sustains us
with her fruits, colored flowers, and herbs.

We praise You, Lord, for those who pardon,
for love of You bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
by You Most High, they will be crowned.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in their sins!
Blessed are those that She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.

We praise and bless You, Lord, and give You thanks,
and serve You in all humility.

birdygal
08-11-2007, 16:12
I can see why everyone loves this. It comes second to me. My numerous animals come first which is why I will never do a thru hike but I do plan on doing sections. I could never leave my pets for more than a week at a time It is a responsiblity that I love more. I am lucky enough to have a 100 mile trail right at my back yard so I can hike often