I spent most of my life in fear and following old traditional ways of what a young woman is supposed to be. About three and a half years ago I finally began to break free from that lifestyle. I left an abusive relationship and was fortunate enough to meet my soulmate shortly after. Since then I've been pushing myself to grow stronger and braver every day.
In May, when I first found out I would have the month of July and possibly August off from nannying, the first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted to go live in the woods. I'm not completely sure why that came to my mind, but it did.
Now I have never done anything like this before, even though I've always loved nature. Sure I've gone camping and on plenty of day hikes before, but never have I attempted to carry a 30 lb bag packed with everything I need on my back. But after a few days of thinking, I decided I was going to solo hike the Vermont Long Trail for two weeks. I spent six weeks training physically and mentally as well as purchased and practiced using everything I needed to survive. And now I was finally here doing it.
Typically it takes the average person four to six weeks to hike all 273 miles of the Long Trail which stretches from the Massachusetts/Vermont border up to Canada doing about 9 to 12 miles a day. That sounded like an awful lot to me. I only walked about 5 miles a day on average according to my Fitbit. And that was on flat city streets, never mind miles climbing up a mountain!
I didn't know how far I get each day, I had hoped about 5 miles but I told myself it wasn't going to be about the miles. This trip was for me to prove to myself that I could do something like this. That I can truly survive on my own. That I don't always need to have a partner or a friend to hold my hand in everything I did in life. I needed to learn how to face my fears myself, how to conquer them, and to trust that God would protect me.
Despite his concerns, my partner Len completely supported me in all of this. He drove with me up to Lye Brook waterfalls, a side trail off the LT, and we hiked the 2.3 miles down the winding path to the place we sit now. He's planning to spend the first two nights with me to help me get adjusted and then Sunday morning he'll drop me off at an entrance to the part of the trail near Prospect Rock so I can continue north on my own.
We were lucky to make it all the way to the falls before dark but unfortunately, we had to set up camp using our headlamps as well as hang up our bear (food) bags. Being on the edge of a waterfall there was almost no flat surface, so we had to place our tent on the edge of the trail and use a not so ideal tree to hang our food from. To be honest, I was praying it would still be there in the morning since we saw bear cave directly across from the falls.
As I was writing this journal entry, Len was falling asleep beside me. That's when I heard loud footsteps walking by. So loud I had at first assumed it was a person night walking the trail. I started calling hello? Who's out there? And there was no answer. That's when I woke up Len and told him what I heard. He started yelling too but whatever it was must have walked away. It took me a little while to fall asleep after that. I couldn't help asking myself, how am I going to handle something like that when I'm all alone? Little did I know what was in store for the upcoming days that followed.
As a trauma survivor I have learned to move forward in my life and heal from my past by exploring many passions such as spirituality, art, travel & herbalism. I hope my blog can help inspire healing in others and let them know they are not alone on their journey.