I learned things that one can only learn by completely immersing themselves into an experience. Only having to worry about your next water source, food supply, and place of shelter really allowed you to completely forgo any stresses and enjoy the wonders of life. It almost reverts you back to a child-like state of wonderment and curiosity. It allows you to just trust and love people completely. It was incredibly surprising and refreshing how easily it was to make strong and genuine connections with people. Without the distraction of modern technology, it really allowed for the opportunity to solely focus on the relationships you were building.
Post trail, I have tried to enact the Appalachian spirit into my everyday life. At times it has been hard, being surround by walls instead of thousands of living and breathing organisms was quite terrifying at first. In those moments though my mind quickly and vividly flashes back to a fleeting moment on the trail, and it instantly makes me appreciate even more my past and current experiences.
I have since moved from the east coast out to Boulder, Colorado where I am starting off on a new adventure. It is kind of like I am starting the trail again all over again, with the mountains right out my backdoor. Its a step into the unknown where new relationships and experiences are waiting to be formed. A year ago I would never have thought that I would be where I am today. I can't wait to experience what the next year has in store for me.