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So I went this weekend to an AT thru-hike class given at the Atlanta REI store. I thought it would be something to occupy my time, and get me focused on some goals, and informative. It sort of accomplished these things. The one main reason I paid for this class was because there was supposed to be a women hiker there to answer women specific questions from a girl's perspective. I paid for the blasted class and the chick didn't show... kinda annoyed me but they told us we could call her at the Buford store.

There are going to be two other classes that are free, but not as comprehensive. I can't deiced if I want to go to them. The main reason is that while I did get some good info and things in a lot of ways it just made me more restless and agitated. Almost everyone at the class was leaving on their thru-hike this year. What I wouldn't give to be setting off in a month to do this life changing incredible journey?

My biggest set back is that I simply don't have the saved up cash to live off of. While in fact it's far cheaper to live on the trail than IRL I barely make it from paycheck to pay check and I NEVER have any extra money, so even saving up the modest 4-6K needed to live for six months on the trail seems impossible.

Of course people say well wait till you graduate and get a job then do it. What job is realistically going to say "Oh you want a leave of absence so you can run off and hike for 6 months? Sure no Problem you're job will be here when you get back!" I also don't want a black mark on me for quitting to do this. And I'm really hoping my internship will be a foot hold into a career not just a job.

The fact is I'd probably have to do a SOBO (south bound/ME-GA) hike If I did it this year, because I'd not be able to start until after finals first week in June. There are of course pros and cons to doing the hike SOBO and I've not really decided if I'm for or against the idea. It seems like a more peaceful serene hike but you miss out a lot on what have become the traditions of thru-hiking the AT. But the decision would be made for me here and I'm not sure I'd mind that much, I've been agonizing it for months and I've come no closer to make any sort of decision.

I'm just so afraid I'm going to miss my chance. I'm already over the average age, but thats sort of silly because LOTS of middle and even elderly people have hiked the trail... It's just I know as I age my physical setbacks are just going to get worse and worse... I mean I've already goth arthritis and I'm 26, I've already got back problems and those just aren't going to go away as I get older. I also have nothing tyeing me here at the moment, no job I love, no family that needs me around, no love interest that will pine or break up with me if I go.

I've even started thinking of really busting my ass to get another job to try and save up the money in time for June, but I really can't because Next quarter to finish up I'll have to take two classes and do my internship, and I can't just quit working for dad... I mean I make good money for only working the hours I do. I dunno part of me hopes that maybe I can get a paid internship that wont coast me much to do as far as gas and things... then I might be able to do it, but the best paying internship I've found is $5.15ph and they wouldn't take me, so it will be a far stretch.

In other news

I'm thinking of getting a Roommate too... it wont save me any money because dad is paying for all that right now, but it would cut some stress on him, and I wouldn't be alone all the time. I think the ad is going to look something like this:

Wanted: Open Minded female to share ranch style home. You'd have your own bedroom and bathroom. $400 flat monthly. Or if you are interested in use of bed and other room furnishings $450. Hiker and/or Gardener a big Plus!

Not very catchy and I don't really know how to condense it, but it's what I'm thinking on.

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