I believe that everyone, to a person, should sign up for a long distance hike. Here's one reason why...
Because long distance hiking changes you. Because "life begins at the end of your comfort zone," and there is nothing comfortable about long distance hiking.
Hiking changed me. It changed me in so many ways, but the change I’m most proud of is my newfound unwillingness to compromise, to make other people feel better at the expense of making myself feel worse.
In other words, hiking allowed me to stop trying to please everyone.
It allowed me to stop worrying about what other people think of me, my choices, my lifestyle, the path I’ve chosen.
It allowed me to stop judging myself and to stop lying to myself about what makes me feel alive.
It allowed me to find a way to love myself when nothing else in the world gave me the keys to that particular kingdom.
Hiking is a physical, mental and emotional bootcamp. But mostly it's a spiritual bootcamp that broke me open and put me back together again.
Go. Hike. Your soul will turn cartwheels.