It's been a dream of mine since I was a young lad, to hike the PCT. I don't quite remember when I first heard about it but it was probably in my childhood. A portion of the trail ran right through where I grew up, The Columbia River Gorge. There were trail markers I'd see quite often and through hikers I occasionally saw in the summer. When I was young, I never thought much of the trail. It was only once I got older that I knew I need to experience it.
Throughout my early twenties, something or other got in the way of things I wanted to do. A lot of the times it was work but sometimes it was money, as I just didn't have enough. As I worked as hard as I possibly thought I could, that old saying came to mind "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy". I had wanted to live in Japan since I was a kid, so I went for it.
I packed up and headed out at the ripe age of twenty four. I found a job as an English teacher. I had only planned to stay three years but financial troubles and falling in love has kept me here a bit longer.
I'm thirty now, still in Japan and trying to figure out my next step in life. I want to return to America but I don't quite want to go straight back to work. Living in Japan as a teacher has given me something most people don't experience; two and a half months of paid vacation. The time off has given me time to think about a whole lot of different things. The PCT being one of them. I'm sure the trail isn't going to fix my problems but spending time in nature is a form of therapy for me. I'll have a looooong time to think about what I want to do for the next chapter in my life.
For now, I'm reading up on the trail as much as I possibly can. I'm trying to budget and stash away money. Soon I'll be buying gear and testing it out. I'm conditioning my legs for the long walk ahead. At the same time, I'll be tying up all the lose ends in Japan. There will be many goodbyes to be had. I'm not worried about my adventure, just anxious.