The next adventure(s)

So the flights are booked and I’m teetering on the edge of the next two adventures. Eek! 

1. July 2016 – Pacific Crest Trail Southbound (Canada to Mexico)
2. December 2016 – Te Araroa, New Zealand

People who know me and readers of this blog will know that I have struggled to readjust to ‘life as I knew it’ before the start of the big adventures of 2015 (and the disillusion of that life is pretty much what led to those adventures anyway). 

I never thought readjusting was going to be easy. Maybe I should have considered that I didn’t want to readjust. In fact I did consider that I didn’t want to readjust – I made plans (everything is better when you have a plan). Big plans with a boy. Plans to move country. Plans to turn my life upside down…and with one phone call it was all taken away. The dreams were gone, the plans were gone, I felt like I was left with nothing.  

I spent a lot more time than I should of wallowing in self pity. Struggling to think of anything I could do next. I couldn’t see a way forward. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I was letting someone else be in control of my life. 

Well, POW! I’ve taken control back. As it turns out, you can be whatever you choose to be if you put in a little effort, and if one plan fails you just need to make a new one. It really is that simple. It might take a while to figure it out, but it will happen eventually. 

There is nothing wrong with my life at all – in fact I’m incredibly lucky. I own my house. I earn an above average wage. I have friends and family. I am healthy. I eat well. I do stuff. I have things. But I am left wondering time and time again – is this it?! 

Is life about working 5 days a week and living for the weekend? Is it about paying into a pension every month when you may not even reach pensionable age (which will probably be 80 if I make it anyway!)? Is it about making more and more money so you can buy more cushions / clothes / cars that you don’t really want or need? 

Some people, a lot of people in fact, are happy doing this and that’s totally ok. I’m not. And that’s not ok. 

But here’s a question: what do you dream of? Is the answer working harder or sitting in an office day in day out. Probably not, right? 

“None of us get out of here alive. I’d rather die doing what I love, what moves me, is authentic to my unique character, than leave this world exhausted, angry, and bitter by trying to act in accordance with what society deems appropriate or by trying to make myself into someone I’m not to please someone who is not me”. – Superclassy. PCT class of 2015

I don’t feel the need to seek others approval for my life choices, but it has been interesting to me that not one person I have told about my adventure plans has told me I am doing the wrong thing. It hasn’t really come as surprise to anyone that I am taking off again and the common reaction is ‘I wish I could do that’…

Well I can. 

And I’m going to. 

And I’m scared and nervous. And that’s what makes it exciting!! 

Someone once said to me that the PCT wasn’t ‘real life’. Oh that person was so wrong. With everything I need on my back and the world at my feet I have never felt so alive. That life was the most real life I have ever known. 

I am not going away to escape life. I am going away so life doesn’t escape me… 

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20 thoughts on “The next adventure(s)

  1. Totally love having he blog back to read and you’ve captured my emotion so much. I have never questioned your want or need to travel and explore as I have always felt it’s been in your blood since I’ve known you – so to me it seems only natural! Like you say plans took a diversion but you’re right back on track to leading the life you want.
    Like you I don’t want the 9-5, I’m jut taking a different path!
    I’m so excited to read your next instalments of adventure!! Love you loads!

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  2. Best wishes to you. I will be heading south on the PCT as well, starting in July. But I will be starting much further south than you, Sierra City.

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      1. Once this segment is completed I will only have the Goat Rocks in Washington left. Hoped to do that this year as well, but it will likely be next year before that happens. It’s been a good adventure, even if over multiple years.

        Hopefully you can make it out of the Sierra before the snow starts there.

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  3. Yay for you Alex! I think we’ve all been expecting this….wish I was going too! 😆 looking forward to following your adventures. Safe and happy trails to you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like that one phone call was actually the best phone call that could have happened! One day you can actually be grateful to that boy – he hasn’t let you down, he’s actually done you a favour!! I can’t wait to hear all about your next adventures. I usually read your blog when I am sat in the office or when I get some respite from my consuming little monkey and try to imagine what you are doing. I admire you so much for getting out there; seeing the world and meeting new friends! If you come back I would love to hear all about it over a cuppa some time! Good Luck No. 1 xxxx

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  5. Glad to hear you will be back in PNW. Give a call if you need a lift, or a place close to REI to sort out your kit. We are conveniently located in Bellingham, and you have our numbers!

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  6. BTW… the picture with my ID is off our front deck in NZ, just 2 hours from the Te Aroroa trail head. We should be there when you arrive in NZ.

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  7. A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its same dimensions. Oliver Wendell Holmes. …yeah! !! You grow and go girl! !! Can’t wait to see pictures from the other direction. ..and of course your dialog that makes us feel that experience! We’re at the foot of the Sierras. ..Genoa. ..If you need a recharge. ..or anything. ..

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  8. Had to come back to read this again, and note your question. “is this it?”

    You are, of course, asking the meaning of life questions we all ask. Is there purpose or meaning in our existence, and how best to live it. Is this it?

    We all have different religious, spiritual, agnostic, or atheistic views of how to live our lives. What is important in our existence and time on earth, and what comes after this long journey (short in the cosmic sense) called life?

    The question is basically the same for all of us, but the answers may be very different for each of us.

    …and the answers may change over time.

    It seems to me, that right now you are choosing things that bring you adventure and joy, over safety, security and comfort, and nothing wrong with that. It is called following your bliss. Much better than following extremist views of god’s will to create a dystopia in the middle east, or strapping on a suicide vest in the name of allah to blow yourself up in Paris seeking some afterlife reward.

    Enjoy… When your LCUs (Life Credit Units) begin to run out a few decades from now, and you are aged and affirmed, all you will be left with is remembrances, and you are creating good ones now to take you out before your atoms return to the universal soup from hence you were created! Maybe that is all there is. 🙂 ‘Go for it’, as they say.

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  9. I’m thinking about going SOBO, are you worried about the snow level this year? Originally I was going to start NOBO at Kennedy Meadows when I got out of school, but I would love the opportunity to thru hike the whole trail.

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    1. I’m not starting until mid July so hopefully the snow won’t be a problem by then. But from what I have been hearing the snow is melting quite fast and a lot of people are aiming for a 1st July start.

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  10. Yay!!! I am so happy for you Puff for living out your dreams and not falling into what society thinks is a normal life. You are always welcome at our house again for an Oregon rest and resupply!

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  11. I’ve been reading your blog last year when I didn’t even in my wildest dreams thought that I’ll be doing pct in less then a year. Now I am at Hiker town, waiting the heat of the day to leave so I can departure to Tehachapi. I am living my dream…and this dream is haaard but I lovin it. I definately want to meet you on trail to shake hands and drink something cold. My trail name is Nikola Tesla, so I hope we will meet somewhere, sometime 🙂

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  12. Hey Alex! Been reading last year’s PCT blog… Amazing you want to do that again going South. It will definitely be a different experience. Loved following your journey and the beautiful pictures. You really are a wonderful blogger. Sometime in August AL and I may be in Oregon @ Ashland ? Hope you ‘ll keep in touch, Cuz we’d love to see you and we can make some trail magic happen! 😉😊

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