onthebeatenpath

I found this book by Robert Alden Rubin to be a little different from the previous memoirs I’ve read. Although he obviously spent a lot of time discussing his life on the trail, he also largely focused on the conflicting pulls he felt between trail and home life. He felt guilt at quitting his job and leaving his wife for six months to do something that he wasn’t quite even sure why he was doing it. I was actually surprised at just how often he got off the trail to meet his wife in the first half of the hike; it seemed to make the parting worse each time, especially since his wife didn’t understand why he was doing the hike and how it would affect their life together once he finished. I was thinking the whole time I read through the book how I already have a few reasons to get off the trail during a thru-hike next year, and just how many people I know along the way that would want to see me as I pass. That can be a good thing on the one hand, but on the other hand I’m also very worried that it will make the hike harder. And I’ve also felt guilt at leaving a well paying job, even though I have plenty of savings and no mortgage or dependents to worry about. It’s just not done apparently. I wouldn’t say it’s nice to see someone else struggling with that, but it helps me to prepare for those feelings along my own hike.

Written by Siren

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