This is the fourth year now that I’ve been aware of the PCT, not about to start it, and kind of wishing I was.
The first year I had only just heard of it a couple of months prior. Yep, I read Wild. Of course I did.
In April 2016 it seemed so exciting, but completely out of the question. I could never just quit my job and do something that mad, could I? And besides, I had a broken ankle!
That November I toyed with the idea of getting a permit for 2017, but reasoned that this was not an option – I’d only been in my job five months and it wasn’t the sort of place you just leave. Fast forward to Spring 2017, I’d quit that stupid job and it didn’t seem such a crazy idea after all. However, I’d long missed the permit window and five months on the trail seemed a little too much for a total noob like me. Instead I found myself hiking the John Muir Trail – and on a variety of other adventures!
Year three found me considering it, but in the middle of nowhere in Wales for a week over permit day. And low and behold I completely missed it. And whilst I was a little bummed, part of me wasn’t ready to go back there yet. I’d barely gotten over the JMT as it was (I still haven’t quite) and was needing a little stability.
Whilst job hunting last November I actually got myself a permit, just in case I didn’t get a job worth sticking around for. But in the end, I got a job and decided to spend the year saving and planning for another adventure in 2020.
So here we are; year four of not setting out on the PCT. On the same sofa, googling the same articles, having the same daydreams.
So, will I be setting off this time next year? I really hope so. The idea terrifies me for so many reasons. What if I hate it? What if I get injured? What if it’s just not what I expect. What do I expect??
‘Always do what you are afraid to do.’
George Bernard Shaw
But, with all that in mind, I still have such a strong feeling that this is something I want to do in my life. And the longer I leave it, the less possible it will become. I am still able to cast off all responsibility and just ‘go’. The continued health and good fortune of my loved ones and myself makes this possible. But one day this may not be the case.
I also remain fairly unattached personally, which is something that I am happy with currently, but also hope will one day change. And when it does, I don’t want to have any regrets about missed adventures.