Notebook

I was living a comfy-but-unfulfilling life in 2015 when I met my first thru-hikers, my heralds, my calls to action. They said it was "never too late," and even though I didn't think I was too close to death's door, I saw they had a point. So nine months later I quit my job, put my furniture in my parents' basement, and started my NOBO thru-hike, which, when a stress fracture grounded me 675 miles later, turned into a LASH. But the trail taught me what I needed to know about myself, which is that although I will never like lashing rainstorms on mountainsides, I can survive them. This fact gave me the courage to start a freelance life, one that is breathtakingly more authentic than the one I had before. If you're on the fence, leap. If you want to read more of my writing, check out www.mathinacalliope.com Hugs, Notebook. Twitter: @mathinacalliope IG: mathinacalliope

Posts

There Are No Solutions, Only Trade-Offs

There Are No Solutions, Only Trade-Offs

Like a lot of backpackers, before I started my thru-hike attempt, I was living a #cubelife of “quiet desperation.” Although as a telecommuter, I was

Sep 12, 2018 : Notebook
How to Be an Internet Hiker: Free Tips for Pajama Blazers

How to Be an Internet Hiker: Free Tips for Pajama Blazers

Step 1: Have some backpacking experience. That one time, when you were 12? And went with your scout group? That oughta do it. No need to actually

May 21, 2018 : Notebook
I Love(d) Not Camping

I Love(d) Not Camping

We arrive at our decisions to thru-hike in all sorts of ways. Some of us get there in a more roundabout manner than others. When I decided in 2015

Apr 27, 2018 : Notebook
Four Ugly Truths and Four Beautiful Realities About the Suck

Four Ugly Truths and Four Beautiful Realities About the Suck

The suck is an inescapable aspect of long-distance backpacking; no one eludes it. It is savage and unrelenting. It also, if you manage not to flee

Jan 8, 2018 : Notebook
Sharing Thru-Hiking’s Power with a Nonhiking Audience

Sharing Thru-Hiking’s Power with a Nonhiking Audience

Sometimes it takes a long time to make meaning from dramatic events in our lives. I got off the trail fifteen months ago with a broken foot, not

Sep 20, 2017 : Notebook
6 Ways a Thru-Hike Is a Hero’s Journey

6 Ways a Thru-Hike Is a Hero’s Journey

Maybe you don’t feel heroic out there, but make no mistake, a thru-hike is as epic an undertaking as any ancient tale. Joseph Campbell, the

Jul 26, 2017 : Notebook
The Single Thing I Wish I’d Known Before My Thru-Hike That Nobody Told Me

The Single Thing I Wish I’d Known Before My Thru-Hike That Nobody Told Me

One evening, damp and full of anguish, I arrive at a shelter and basically fall apart. I can't believe—I'm, like, refusing to accept—that there is no

Jan 17, 2017 : Notebook
Sleeping with Strangers: Part 1

Sleeping with Strangers: Part 1

Oh, hi, class of 2018! Notebook here. Congratulations on your decision to take the plunge and make a thru-hike attempt! That took a lot of

Dec 22, 2016 : Notebook
Timing Quitting Failing … Winning?

Timing Quitting Failing … Winning?

A few days before I was set to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 2011, my cousin, Ken, flew out to D.C from Chicago to join me for the race. All

Sep 27, 2016 : Notebook
On Purity

On Purity

We had finished dinner at a restaurant in my hometown, my girlfriend and I, and she was listening with wide eyes to my trail tales—the bear ones

Sep 13, 2016 : Notebook