The summer I was nineteen years old, I looked ahead of me and saw another frustrating year doing something I wasn’t particularly good at. Without exactly knowing what I was doing, I sent off an e-mail to my employer, visited a few outdoor stores, and bought a train ticket to the Appalachian Trail. I didn’t care if I was being “foolish.” I had to take responsibility for my own happiness.
While hiking, I met more than a few people enthralled simply by the romantic notion of hiking the trail. “This will be the adventure of a lifetime,” one day hiker I ran into raved. I was appalled. Two decades under my belt and that’s it, the adventure of a lifetime was done? No way. Not for me. I decided, on the spot, that this wasn’t the adventure of a lifetime. It was just the start of a lifetime of adventure.
I was more right than I knew, because during my hike I met my future husband. Together we hiked and bicycled in Europe, built our own house made of cob, adopted our sweet puppy, and supported each other in our first years as teachers. Now we’re about to start our journey as parents together.
All this while—almost another decade—I’ve been inspired by people who have had the guts to share their own adventures, both in books and online. I’ve always meant to add to the discussion by sharing my story too—but I didn’t. I’ve kept waiting for my life to be a little less messy, my house to be a little more done, my teaching life to be a little less busy, and my message to be a little more polished. But you know what? That’s just not going to happen, and I don’t want it to. I’m always doing; that’s how I learn and grow (and how my life stays messy).
Welcome, and enjoy the ride.