Welcome to Write or Die Wednesdays: A Writer's Link-Up! We are Vashelle and Mia inviting you to partake in some creative writing with us every other week.
If you are new to this link-up and wondering what Write or Die is all about, check it out here!
A big thanks to everyone that linked up in the last WODW. The prompt prompted a nice collection of poetry and prose, many of which had an empowering lean to them. Loved Becca's poem dedicated to those enduring domestic abuse, as well as Corrine's that outlined a journey into adulthood and the self-assurance that comes with it. Also, Sheryl's post reminds us that it's never too late to reach your peak!
This week's prompt has us contemplating this phrase. What does it mean to you?
I wrote a few weeks ago about needing and wanting some adventure in my life. I'm tired of playing it safe and doing the same old thing. Routine has become my enemy. I put hiking the Appalachian Trail on my bucket list and I'm more determined than ever to make it happen. Inspired by books such as A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis, I want to set out on my own adventure.
I've been devouring Appalachian Trail hiking guides like nobody's business. I think the more research I do, the better my experience will be. Adventure is one thing, but recklessness is something else entirely. I want to do it right and I want to be prepared.
But obviously, hiking 2,100+ miles is a huge task. I want to take some baby steps before I tackle that beast. I'd love to get some day hikes in. The Trail runs through Virginia, so it wouldn't be too terribly far for me to go there and do some practice runs. It would be good for me to see how heavy my pack would be. It'll help me see how much food I might need per day, help me break in new hiking boots, help me get used to sleeping in the great outdoors. All that good stuff.
Every time I think about it, I get goosebumps. I picture the beautiful sunrises and sunsets I would get to see. Maybe some wildlife (hopefully not too close, though, ha!). I think about the sounds of nature – birds and insects and the wind. I think about travelling long distances on my own 2 feet – how that accomplishment will feel. I think about being able to clear my mind and write down my thoughts each day.
I know it won't be all puppies and unicorn farts. I know that it will rain. I know there will be bugs and snakes. I know I might alternately sweat and freeze. I know that using the bathroom will be just oodles of fun, except not really.
But I also know that I will regret it if I don't at least try. Maybe I won't make it the whole way. Maybe I'll decide hiking is terrible and I hate it. Who knows. But I have to try.
I have to get off the beaten path at least once in my life.
How do you get off the beaten path? Where does your road take you?