Monday, September 26, 2016
Thru-hiking: A Life of Escape Through Walking
(H1) Lately, in a reflection of A Philosophy of Walking, and my longing for the mountains of my hometown, I have been entertaining the hypothetical thought of quitting school and adopting the lifestyle of an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. While the lifestyle is daunting in the fact that you are giving up all of the comforts of modern day, you are also leaving behind the complications of the modern life. Once your feet hit the trail in the early spring you are freed of arbitrary modern conventions of conduct and style, your life and path are your own. The trail provides for you only enough to sustain you, but through everyday life, because your everyday life is an escape. The simple movement of your feet is the climbing of your career ladder, your worries are simplistic and real, instead of convoluted and insignificant. adaptation and proper planning the trail becomes more a home to you than any home you’ve had before.
Many of the people I have conversed with over this idea have criticized me. They see this lifestyle as unsustainable. What will you do when you’re older and you have no career, they ask. Yet the very reason I want to live with this lifestyle is to avoid such a question. The idea that life is nothing more than your career, that all you should live for is the pursuit of a stable and sedentary lifestyle is revolting to me. I believe there is much more to life than that. Life should be lived freely, as Thoreau said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” What life can you experience living at a desk? Sure you get a vacation for 2 weeks a year, and you have all the money you’re not spending on your various loans you need to “survive.” On the trail, however, the concept of vacation is trivial, there is no escape from your