Looking Forward: The Appalachian Trail
A few days after my friends returned to the U.S, I packed up my own life in Morocco and followed suit.
I believe there's something to be said for deep roots, for a tie to one special place that goes back generations. And yet, I left Casablanca feeling thankful to have one more addition to my list of places that, if I should have the opportunity to return, will feel like coming home. Despite the periodic loneliness, a few stinging personal failures, and many bureaucratic headaches, I had finally begun to feel like I belonged in Morocco. It was similar to the way I'd felt about Spain, about Orlando and UCF, about my small town in Virginia, and even about the Dominican Republic, where I only lived for a few months. As difficult as it is to leave each time, I am fascinated by the process of moving to a new place, witnessing it transform from foreign to familiar.
Morocco was the best example of that, maybe because it was so foreign to begin with, and I think I may end up going back.
But for now, I am focusing on something completely different.
I moved back to the United States because I want to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2190-mile (3524km) footpath from Georgia to Maine. Since Christmas, I've been living with my family in Virginia and trying to get in shape for this huge undertaking. I do have a problem knee, so there's a chance that my attempt is doomed to failure, but so far my day hikes have caused minimal pain. Despite that potential problem and the daunting 20-25% completion rate among aspiring thru-hikers overall, I'm cautiously optimistic.
I plan to start my hike in 6-7 weeks (haven't nailed down an exact date) and if all goes well, I should finish sometime in September. After that, I will be seeking a new TEFL job somewhere in the world, but until then, besides the occasional throwback travel or teaching post, this blog will document my trek.
Hiking advice or questions about the trip? Leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading, and happy hiking!