Let the planning begin

After graduating last year, I spent a ten months overseas backpacking in Australia and New Zealand. During that time, I spent two months hiking the length of the South Island of New Zealand on the Te Araroa trail. And I can honestly say, it was the best experience of my entire life.

Since my return to the states, I have worked on building a career in the outdoor retail industry as an apparel buyer. I love my job and the industry I work in, but the yearning to pick up my pack and hit the road is always there in the back of my head. I was bit by the travel bug, and the itch is back.

My time and experiences in New Zealand rooted a hunger inside of me that I think can only be satisfied by another long trail. After careful consideration of my future and what’s next, I’ve decided I will hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018. I will spend this year planning and preparing myself for the long journey ahead. While I have thru-hiking experience, the Te Araroa was only a fraction of the PCT. While the distance I covered in New Zealand was roughly 900 miles, the PCT is 2,660 miles; three times the length I walked! Two months in the South Island, New Zealand vs. six months across the length of Washington, Oregon, and California. My concerns about sandflies will be replaced with concerns of rattlesnakes and bears.

Despite the doubts and fears I’m sure others will have for me, (mom I’m talking to you) I know that this is the right decision for me. I have not felt this good or excited about my future since I bought a one-way ticket to Australia last year.

I will be using this blog to report on all things PCT: gear, research, training, everything.

I have a goal, let the planning begin.

Crazy to think we were there just before the wild fires came rolling through. I’m still entranced by the beauty I saw while spending just a few short days in the #greatsmokeymountains #nationalpark. I must admit #carcamping is way easier than the #backcountry #tramping I was doing in #newzealand, but I can’t help but hope the next time I go through I’ll be hiking the #appalachiantrail! #tbt #backpacking #wanderlust

My body is back in ‘real’ life but my head and heart are still on the trail. Never in a million years did I expect to have such a problem adjusting back. It never occurred to me that there would even be a problem! It’s been a week, and I am still having a hard time. I cannot explain the way I feel, but it’s a struggle every day. I get anxiety every time I’m in the city. I want more than anything to pick up my pack and walk away. But the money is gone, and it’s simply impossible for me to continue on the trail. It’s the saddest realization I’ve ever had to come to. I keep putting one foot in front of the other, try my best, and hope it’ll get easier. I wish I could get paid to hike. #teararoa #trail #backpacking #tramping #newzealand #trailsickness #wishfulthinking

With only ONE walk left in my Northbound Te Araroa tramp, I am prepared to carry ALL the fresh fruit and vegetables! Not pictured: 10 pounds of hummus to go with #teararoa #trail #tramping #queencharlottetrack #backpacking #newzealand #southisland #nobo #fresh #vegetables #tomatoes #onions #avocados #mushrooms #onion #bananas #capsicum #cucumber #broccoli #hummus #yum #happy #walker #goodeats