Friends and Family! (drum roll PLEASE!) Jamie and I are embarking on a 6 month walk through the woods! We will be hiking the Appalachian Trail flip-flop style (which means we will start at the halfway point in PA and hike NoBo to Maine, at which point we will return to the halfway point and hike SoBo to GA. The reason we are choosing to flip-flop is because we are getting too late of a start in the year as most AT thru hikers start in March or April in Georgia and follow spring as they head north.
We are so excited to jump off the hamster wheel and recalibrate our internal compasses to the things that matter the most to us. We are choosing to do this by living in the present moment during our hike and by disconnecting from the whirls and routines of the day-to-day. The simplicity of walking each day with just the necessities on our backs will give us a much needed reprieve from the exhaustion vacuum of education. Teachers give and give and give, and then... give some more. We are wanting to take some time to now replenish, give to each other and to ourselves this year and are kicking it off with a thru hike of the AT, something that has been a dream of both of ours since we were adolescents. Taking the time to nurture that which is most precious will be our main intention as we embark on the trail. Our primary focus will be to nurture our relationship, forging a stronger intimate connection and replenishing our emotional capacity for each other as we have done for the children and families we have served over the last decade.
We are OF COURSE nerding out on calorically dense dehydrated food, ultralight backpacking gear, and have spent an exceptional amount of time trying to come up with the best trail name(s). We can't wait to post all of this excitement in our planning as well as updates from the trail on this blog so you all can live vicariously through our adventure. We care so much about the many connections we have made over the years, and leaving our community is such a bittersweet feeling. While we know this is the right thing for us right now, we will miss so many of you and want to stay connected. Please know that your support is invaluable to us and we wouldn't have made it this far in our careers, hobbies (running and cycling), and just plain living life without our immensely awesome support network (yes - ALL OF YOU have helped shape us into who we are!) Thank you SO MUCH for all you have done for Jamie and I. It is with heaps of gratitude for community that we know it will be ok. We have such an amazing community filled with friends, colleagues, teammates and families we have served to come back to when we are ready. Thank you for your support in letting us fly free for a little while.
Jackie & Jamie