"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."
It’s hard to find the balance between savoring the journey and putting in the miles to finish before the snow starts to fly.
It was a constant conundrum for me. I struggled every day to choose wisely--journey or destination?
I could either churn through the miles and risk having regrets. I could focus on getting to Katahdin, but would I register the blur of the trail as it whizzed past? When I sped through, I missed so much. I told myself I could always go back, but I knew in my heart that I probably would not.
Or I could take the time to enjoy each slow step, to explore, to go off the beaten path, to linger by a pond and to take care of my body (my mode of transportation, after all). It came with a risk, the risk of not completing an actual thru-hike (defined by the ATC as completing the trail within a twelve month window.)
Ultimately I chose savoring over hurrying, and did not finish. It wasn’t an easy choice, but it’s not a choice that resulted in any regret.
Because I know the journey is a series of moments to be lived and enjoyed. The destination is one moment in the future.
Which is more important?
Which will give the most opportunities for growth, learning and enjoyment?
How will you hike your own hike?