Feb 242013


A few years ago, I posted The New Nomad’s List of 101 Truly Compelling Reasons to Do a Long-Distance Hike . Since then I’ve thought of many more, and in case that wasn’t enough to convince you, I now present:

The New Nomads List of 101 MORE Truly Compelling Reasons To Go On a Very Long Distance Hike

  1. See a bear
  2. See a mountain lion
  3. See full grown men carrying parasols to protect themselves from the sun
  4. Hear silence
  5. Finally hear what the non-stop thoughts in your head have been saying to you about yourself and others your whole life
  6. Get all of your aging over with in one season
  7. Give you something other than food to subject your fb status updates with
  8. Get crazy fit
  9. Wear socks with sandals without appearing geeky
  10. Have only one task per day for 5 whole months
  11. Explore the exciting realm of sexting and/or phone sex with partner left at home
  12. Determine if your facial hair really would eat your head if left ungroomed for 5 months
  13. Learn how to get lost
  14. Become very adept at knowing exactly what time it is based on the sun’s position in the sky and what the bugs are doing
  15. Learn how to help other people
  16. Instantly belong to community of giddy like-minded people
  17. Forget what day and time it is
  18. Forget what your real name is
  19. Forget why you ever became a career person
  20. Forget what you look like with mascara on
  21. Watch your feet grow
  22. Watch your hair grow
  23. Watch your patience with discomfort grow
  24. Finally get through the entire library of “The Great Courses”
  25. Finally understand what an empty mind feels like
  26. Quit smoking
  27. Quit drinking
  28. Quit caring what you look like
  29. Quit waking up late
  30. Learn 25 uses for duct tape
  31. Learn 25 uses for an umbrella
  32. Learn 25 uses for trekking poles
  33. Accrue daily skills at manipulating your partner to do what you want
  34. Learn how to be submissive to your partner
  35. Leave your partner
  36. Get a new partner
  37. Feel bad-ass
  38. Be actually weird, instead of poser weird
  39. Earn a tattoo
  40. Have an accomplishment that absolutely no one can relate to
  41. Meet other tourists in Canada and be able to respond to no matter what they say with, “yeah, but I walked here”
  42. Experience pain that might actually trump the pain of giving birth
  43. Become an excellent map reader
  44. Become an excellent hitchhiker
  45. Become psychic about where car campers are with food
  46. Finally “get” that “one day at a time” mantra you’ve heard others spout all your life
  47. Sit gleefully around a campfire drinking beer with strangers and laughing til your body hurts
  48. Get free pie
  49. Witness first hand the intensity of a forest fire
  50. Behold trees that are hundreds of years old
  51. See beauty you couldn’t possibly describe
  52. Figure out that your skin is waterproof
  53. Debt collectors can’t reach you by phone anymore
  54. Don’t have to worry about drinking “too much coffee”
  55. Don’t have to pay car insurance for 5 months
  56. Get over fear of heights
  57. Get over fear of pencil thin tread across steep slopes of loose sand or snow
  58. Get over fear of naked hippies in hot springs
  59. Learn how fun being knocked over by a wind gust can be when choreographed correctly
  60. Learn how to sleep in all situations without chemical help
  61. Have time to think about what the hell you’re doing with your life
  62. Have opportunity to forget about what the hell you’re doing with your life
  63. Possibly get your money’s worth out of your health insurance
  64. Relief from making daily abstract decisions about things
  65. Fall madly in love with a puffy jacket
  66. Fall madly in love with a pair of sandals
  67. Fall madly in love with random beds
  68. Fall madly in love with an apple
  69. Meet people from all over the world
  70. Meet trail angels and learn the true meaning of gratitude
  71. Watch people gather around water sources like animals do
  72. Remember that you’re animal
  73. Be cared about by strangers
  74. Have non-stop haiku material
  75. TRULY test gear
  76. Learn 100 uses for a bandana
  77. Be a single woman on a trail mostly populated by fit and happy men
  78. Be a man away from the wily ways of evil women
  79. Test your relationship
  80. Let your kids develop a closer relationship to their mother/father while your away
  81. Make your kids proud of you
  82. Prove endurance and stick-to-it-tiveness on your resume
  83. Truly feel like you’ve done something for yourself in your life
  84. Learn how strong you can be
  85. Be amazed at what the human body can endure
  86. Put your feet in a cool stream after miles of desert hiking
  87. Hallucinate without drugs
  88. Give your parents another opportunity to compare you to some strange relative in the way past the whole family still talks about
  89. Get family members to join you for sections for quality bonding time
  90. Be “in the world and not of the world”
  91. Not care about politics or sports outcomes for 5 months
  92. Become unreliable to needy people in your life for 5 months
  93. Begin to see a forest as your home and not feel like you’re an outsider exploring it
  94. Learn at least 15 different ways to prepare couscous
  95. See and maybe even grow some of your own super impressive blisters
  96. Learn how popular a flask of tequila can make you
  97. Learn how to NOT take pictures when having an experience
  98. Stand underneath hyperactive wind turbines
  99. Earn every meal
  100. Learn a new language
  101. But MOSTLY, have an experience of a lifetime that you will never forget!


Happy trails, friends!

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  3 Responses to “101 MORE Truly Compelling Reasons to go on a Very Long-Distance Hike”

  1. Great stuff! Thanks! Shared it on my page.

  2. I am going to put a link to this in my next newsletter. So true and such fun. Thank you!

  3. Love this! Shared it on our fb page. Let’s write haikus together all summer 🙂

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