YouTube, like the internet, has changed the way we interact with information. Anybody can put anything (within reason) up on YouTube and away you go. A good bit is pretty much a trend watch, like all those Harlem Shake videos. Some of it is useful, like TED Talks. Bootleg movies, and comedy clips are always Bailey’s favorite. You can also find a wealth of inspiration for any endeavor. Like an AT thru-hike! So here are the ones I liked that are recent additions:
Spiderman’s AT Thru-Hike 2014
Medic’s 2014 AT Thru-Hike
Maybe the East Coast ain’t your thing. We are floating the idea of the Pacific Crest Trail some time after we finish this. What’s it like? It has a long stretch of desert and then the mountains. I’m down for this, regardless of Bailey wanting to do it.
Dylan “Right On” Ivens PCT Thru-Hike 2014
Looking for even more desolation, and a more “primitive” experience? The Continental Divide Trail is where you have to bring your “A” Game. Land nav., water procurement, and backcountry skills will be in use and if you don’t have them it will make for a short trip. Laid out on the deck of a helicopter “ponying” your ass out of the backcountry and to a medical facility. Here is a short video of “Huck Finn” marching north along the spine of America. While a few thousand people start a thru-hike of the AT, only around 25% or so finish. Contrast this with the CDT: around 200 people start a thru-hike on the CDT, and about 20 finish it. You will be alone.
If you are not into the wilderness (perhaps you liked the movie “Wild” but just can’t bring yourself to the point of never showering or using a real toilet), there are other options. I recommend Spain. I’ve been there a few times, and of all the European countries I’ve been to I prefer it to the others. (Note: I’ve only been to a few, the usual suspects; Italy, Germany, France. I spent the most time in Spain, and I’m sure if I had the time to spend in any other place it would have made the list. Go with what you know.)
If you don’t want to engage in foreign travel, and prefer to keep your passport locked away, America is still out there. Rent an RV, or substantial sized vehicle, load up your family or friends, and hit the road. My in-laws would do this, and one year they took Bailey with them. He held aces and eights in Deadwood, saw Mount Rushmore, Buffalo, and the Mississippi River. It would take a little while to hit all fifty states, but it is done by many people every year.
Not up for traveling? Still want to change your perspective or location? Do what my Mom did. Move. Cash out and live somewhere you always wanted to live. Most people wait until they retire to do this, and that might be the case with us, but do it at least once in your life.
The downside? Well, if it’s a beach you get this:
But looking at the big picture, is that so bad?