Happiness, the minimalist mind & hiking the Appalachian Trail
I want to hike the Appalachian Trail because it will be an adventure, adventure is transformational and I want to live a transformational life ~ Rev Kane
As my big adventure gets ever nearer my mindset, as I mentioned in my last post, is beginning to change. One of the biggest changes, (driven I’m sure by how little weight I want to carry on the Appalachian Trail), has been a minimalist attitude. It has hit in some really interesting ways, first I had packed everything I will be taking with me on my year plus journey. But as my mind has changed I’ve found myself re-evaluating and have already cut the amount of clothing in half. Hell I even find that I’m starting to eat less and less often. The funniest one is that I’ve actually started showering less.
A good friend has been kind enough to give me a place to live for a couple of weeks before I depart and you’d think, knowing how rarely I’ll get a hot shower while camping across the US and hiking the Appalachian Trail, that I’d be taking three a day but it’s been the opposite. The one thing I will say however is that my level of gratitude and appreciation is greatly increasing. I’m taking fewer showers but have been incredibly mindful during each one of how precious a hot shower is and have really focused on how wonderful they are.
The same thing has happened with meals, as my time has grown short people have been taking me to dinner and I’ve really focused on how wonderful a really well-prepared and tasty hot meal is versus reconstituted camp food. So, before I have even stepped my first step on the trail, two months before in fact, the AT has already begun to impact my mindset, making me more mindful and grateful.
It is important to keep the psychological aspects of the trip in mind, both the benefits and also the psychological challenges. I’m starting to feel some of the challenges as well, the anticipation of being alone, of being electronically out of touch and the diminished social connections. A great book that deals with this is Zach Davis’ book, Appalachian Trials, it’s a great read on the subject.
So life is changing and change can be good, the minimalist mindset is helping, so take a moment to think about what could you really do without, maybe giving it up will help you have a happier day my friends, give it a try ~ Rev Kane
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