Spoiler alert: I am not sacrificing much

I have read many books and trail journals of AT thru-hikers who have had to sacrifice a lot. Most even have to plan years ahead of time to accommodate their career and family.

I feel that I am in a unique situation that I am able to do this. My life won’t be impacted that much by taking off 6 or so months. There are only two things that I am a little apprehensive about.

One is my apartment. Right now I am living my most favorite area I have lived in since adulthood. I live in a small neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. There is a large park 1 block west of me and some nice stores and restaurants 2 blocks east of me. There is a bike path less than a half mile away and a short hiking trail even closer. Portland has some of the lowest vacancy rates in the nation so it would be difficult to find a place when I got back, not to mention how difficult it would be in Sellwood (my neighborhood).

The other concern I have is my career. I am already having a problem with getting out of desktop support and specializing in something more challenging. If I didn’t choose to hike the AT maybe I would be in a much better place career-wise a year from now. Also, what will a future prospective employer think about me pausing my life for this length of time? The way I am justifying this is that I would probably regret not hiking the AT a year from now and that maybe a future employer will see my hike as a positive, not a negative.

It turns out my landlord is willing to work with me on sub-letting my apartment while I am gone. It will be hard to find someone to fit this role but at least there is hope in keeping my place.

I am also quite confident in finding at least temporary work when I get off the trail. Besides, who knows what my desires will be when I get back? Maybe I’ll want to find temporary employment again and then do something similar the following summer.

There are of course other obvious people and things I will miss while I’m gone. I will miss the majority of the Portland Timbers season to which I have 2 season tickets for. I will miss my friends and family. And I will miss Oregon. Compared to others planning to thru-hike the AT I don’t think I have much to worry about.


4 thoughts on “Sacrifices

  1. Love it! I saw a great Linked In profile a few days ago that explained a work laps as “Explorer/Adventurer/Life” and they listed a few highlights from taking a year off and traveling. It make the person much more interesting in my book. Proud of you. Slightly jealous. Always a guest room open for you in Chicago!

  2. I, for one, feel like if you are stepping out of life for a goal that is important to you, it’s a good thing. Hopefully when you come back from your hike and are looking for work, your prospective employers will find your accomplishment as impressive as it actually is. I am blessed enough to be able to choose not to work for employers who don’t support me in my life goals. I work hard, and expect my employers to respect that about me, and in turn support me in my endeavors. Good luck in this, your quest!

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