It’s been officially 53 days since we left the trail. Those who have done long distance hiking know that once you finish a hike it’s hard to go back to normal life. There are so many thoughts and emotions that you feel coming off a 6-month hike that it’s hard not to feel the “post trail blues”. Cash and I were lucky enough to spend some time in the quiet woods of Maine after our hike. We slept a lot and devoured some amazing home cooked meals thanks to the Bonney’s who let us crash in their cabin. We flew to Tallahassee to see Cash’s family which was quite a shock to the senses. Our flight had a layover in Miami which was completely overwhelming for me. The noise, the people, the speed at which the entire world felt like it was moving just made me yearn for the trail. Cell phones, iPads..everywhere I looked people had their faces in front of screens. I just sat there quietly observing, taking mental notes as people scurried about. As our plane taxied into the airport and the seatbelt sign turned off the rush of people clicking their buckles and reaching for their bags, impatient and in a rush, just made me miss the slow pace of trail life.
Returning home has been a challenge for us both. We left 30-degree weather only to return to a humid, 80-90 degree Florida “winter”. There are no mountains in the distance, no beautiful forests to wander through, no trees to admire. The trail confirmed our desires to escape Florida and make our way out west… where, we are not 100% sure but we know we need to be near the mountains. Once we returned home we purged, A LOT! After living out of a backpack for 6 months with only a few articles of clothing and the hiking essentials you really start to realize how much stuff you can accumulate over your lifetime. We went from room to room picking through boxes of clutter and either threw away or donated most of what we hadn’t used. It felt good to downsize but it’s a process, we are still actively working to remove clutter from our lives.
I have returned back to work which I have mixed emotions about. I definitely appreciate my company giving me my old job back, especially with a much-needed raise, but I am also not excited to sit in front of a computer all day in a windowless room. The trail really got me thinking about my career path and although I love designing and being creative, I also know my body does not appreciate a sedentary lifestyle. I am already starting to experience the problems I had before I left for the trail including daily headaches and fatigue. Working out after work has been my only saving grace. Cash and I have been running and working out thanks to Fitness Blender’s videos which gives me some relief but all I want to do is take a walk in the woods (that is not a reference to the book, it’s just the truth)! PCT 2018?