I’m hopping back on an airplane tomorrow to get back to the trail. It’s been an absolutely incredible week of friends, family, music, food, and doing things like sleeping in a bed, doing laundry, wearing cotton and cooking things that aren’t dehydrated. In fact, at this very moment, I’m eating chips and salsa and drinking iced lemon verbena tea!
I also got to surprise Spencer while he was eating a salad at our kitchen table, celebrate Sophie’s 26th birthday, see great friends that I don’t get to see often, spend a weekend with my parents, hang out with some friends from Nova Scotia, perform at two music festivals, ride my bicycle, go swimming at a hotel, read books in a coffee shop and eat 1/2 price sushi.
But I’m also excited to get back to the trail: to slow down and take everything in at 3 mph. I’m excited for the joy that comes from an unexpected bag of chips or Dr. Pepper. I’m excited to have the space and time to go from loving to hating to loving the trail within a 30-minute time span just because I have nothing else to think about. I think that I may have developed Stockholm Syndrome for the trail.
This time, as I leave home, I know (sort of) what I’m getting myself into. I know that every day is going to be harder than I expect it to be, and I know how much I’m going to miss home. I know how much the trail takes. But I also know how much the trail gives. So far, it’s taught me so much about self-reliance and about the importance of letting others help. It’s taught me that I’m stronger than I think I am. It’s taught me that waterproof is a lie. It’s taught me that plans are important but that flexibility is more important. It’s taught me what 5 days of food weighs. It’s taught me that the simplest things really are the best. It’s taught me that I really can walk anywhere.