The Hiking Paradox

First off it seems people have enjoyed my posts even though I am not currently hiking so I will try to post weekly if I feel I have something that warrants it. Feedback is always welcome and I hope life is treating you all well!

It has been one week since I left the trail. I am still jobless and slowly wading through the murky waters of the “real world.” In the first four weeks back I saw the Cubs win the World Series, the final presidential debate, Halloween and the polarizing election. If I had the choice and the sunset wasn’t at 4:30pm I would turn around and walk right back into the woods.

What is the most difficult part about being back?

The noise is constant. Oftentimes the only noise I would hear while hiking was an animal, running water or only the sound of my footsteps. Now on a daily basis I hear people yelling into their cell phones, revving their cars, or watching a blaring TV. I am still not used to this noise. I don’t even turn on the TV. The other glaring difference is the number of things that are out of my control on a daily basis. On the trail other than the weather nearly everything was within my control. I had the tools to deal with all adversity no matter how creative I had to be. In the real world I am vulnerable to other people and events I have no impact on.

What have I been doing?

The first week back I worked on my trip video and cleaned up of my used gear. The second week back I worked on my presentation and gave one at Nesika Lodge. The third week I jumped into the water of writing. I began a book as well as wrote a couple of other pieces that may come out in the future. I also learned how little I like doing press or publicity. There was an article recently published in multiple major cities but instead of enjoying it, I am unable to embrace the exposure. Finally this last week I began the process of deciding how I want to start my career over.

What is next?

I wish I had a good positive answer I could give. There is a great 12,000 mile trail up in Canada that needs someone to hike it. I still need to do some climbing in the Cascades. But as it looks right now I am deciding about working in a warehouse and attempt to put a dent in the debt I have accumulated until I can find the next move.

The great paradox about long distance hiking is that you want to finish but you never want it to end. I am still stuck dwelling on the fact that I not only finished but also that it is over.