As most of you know, I'm home! I finished the Appalachian Trail on September 28, 2018. I came back to Fryeburg, ME to live with my parents for the winter while I prepare for the next steps of my journey: van life! You may have seen that I recently acquired a 2000 VW Eurovan Winnebago camper named Terra from some trail angels in North Carolina. She wasn't running and had a lot of mold when we got her. She runs now, but there is still a lot of mold and a damaged pop top. So until I can get her livable I'll be staying in a 1958 Glider camper trailer on my parents property. It's a gutted trailer (no bathroom, kitchen or separate rooms) with a wood stove.
So what's next for Trail Name Here?
I spent a lot of time thinking about Trail Name Here while I was hiking. Trying to figure out how I could include my peers, my inspirations, and motivate others to take that big risk to change their lives. My best idea was a podcast! I listened to a LOT of podcasts on trail. Casual conversations like The Joe Rogan Experience, dramatic stories from Levar Burton Reads and The Moth, social economics from Planet Money, crazy edits from Radiolab, and inspiring episodes of How It Is from Hello Sunshine.
I love the way a casual conversation can be the inspiration for me or how a serious story from someone's life is so relatable that I feel almost comforted by it. Or the way that podcasts can open a new world to something you'd never imagined doing like free solo climbing or running 100 miles in one 38 hour race. The stories of peoples' mental breaks, courage, strength, and aspirations are so inspiring. But the mundane stories about peoples' every day lives and feelings are also incredibly powerful. My favorite stories of all are when people talk about how they've become who they are now. Their life journey or story.
Starting this January I'll be helping my friends, and anyone else I find interesting, tell their stories on Podcast Here. Stories of how someone made a tough decision on the PCT, mental breakdowns on the AT, choosing to quit a job and live in a van, or just trying to maintain a relationship with the outdoors. Stories about risk takers, mental health warriors, everyday heroes, and the little wins that make life so great. I've found inspiration all around me and I hope you do, too. If you're interested in being interviewed, let me know! I'm now booking out until March of 2019!
I've also been working on creating programs and presentations for schools. I started last week with my first presentation at Lake Region Middle school in their experiential science class. I'll be working on getting my guide license next year to provide more hands, or feet, on experiences! If you didn't know, my minor in college was Elementary Education and I'm so excited I'll get to work with kids again on something I'm actually passionate about: getting outside!
(Thank you Alice for letting me borrow your tent! P.S. if anyone wants to help me get a freestanding tent for educational purposes click here to donate!)
Lastly, and most importantly, Trail Name Here is getting a new home! You may have noticed that I finally bought the domain www.trailnamehere.com! I've been working hard on building a out a new website for TNH. The home page is my personal blog; for all of the things I currently categorize as personal on here, van life and Terra posts, and my adventures! My trail journals will still be there on the AT Journals page. There will also be a portfolio for my freelance writing projects and a page where you can hire me to do a presentation at your school or a motivational speaking engagement! The donations page will be moved to the Contact page on the new site. Explore a preview yourself HERE!
I'm only in Vermont on my AT Journals currently. Some of my favorite readers have complained that I'm taking too long to wrap them up! In order to appease everyone and free up some time for some more personal, van life, and Maine winter posts I'll be switching to a weekly format. Each post will have the days and miles and places we camped for a whole week along with some highlights from the week. If you REALLY miss the single day post format, then buckle up for my book! I've started working on it and, while I can't guarantee a release date any time soon, I can guarantee you'll be on the edge of your seat for a transformational journey.
Thank you SO MUCH again for following along on my crazy adventure. I can't wait to ring in the new year with all of you and the NEW TNH! For a more in depth glimpse at my daily life, photos, and vlogs follow me on Instagram: TrailNameHere!