“The first step to a new beginning is always the hardest”. That couldn’t be truer as the first day could’ve also been the last. Of course, that goes for anything else, yet for me, it wasn’t instant but was ever so slightly creeping up. The first few miles were wonderful and a feeling of freedom. A sense of busywork was nonexistent and it was just me and the world…
As I walk, the beaming ball of fire hangs in the sky. Its intense glare was strong enough to make any sort of shade luxurious. A luxury indeed, but a scan from the left to the right showed no such mercy. The “first step” was already showing signs at this point. The process of comparing modern luxury to nature itself was stuck on repeat. “I could be in ac right now” “I could be enjoying a nice cold slushie” “I this” and “I that”.
You’d think I’d be set up and preparing to sleep with the night sky above. I was late. So there I am walking through the night, walking mindlessly swaying a little side to side. With every shift of weight to my left leg, a slight pause broke the rhythm. Not every road is intended for cross country hiking. A little crumble here and there along the road can give birth to accidents.
Getting over the initial bumps led to more ease thereafter. Things started to click and get into gear. What felt like a long strenuous walk was now just a long walk. The keyword is strenuous because the higher build-up of fatigue was significantly greater in the beginning. Now it’s decreased to where I can keep walking without frequent stops. The conscious isn’t so focused on the fatigue, but now with deep breaths and a look to the surroundings. What comes in sight can actually be processed with value behind it.
My walks aren’t without some form of entertainment. God forbid having to walk days on end with just your thoughts. You can only go so far until you have a volleyball named Wilson. Podcasts are usually what occupy my ears and train of thought. Recordings of philosophy and everyday life really speak out more in value when you’re out here alone. With nothing else to distract your brain, you see more of life. People are so caught up with modern life that the brain doesn’t notice what’s in front of them. It’s like how anyone’s conscious thinks about scenarios of a vast degree. Good or bad. Even the very bad. But it’s our ability to not act upon the thoughts that make us people. These thoughts are more prevalent when you’re not occupied with something. This is what I’m learning as I walk. I analyze deeper into subjects and why it is what it is. I mean I have nothing else to do.
Tired one night I begin to look for a spot to tent up. I decided on a flat area off the side of the road. Just beyond the grass was a tree line. Slumber was of only 2 hours before being abruptly awoken by a sound. I sat up still sweating from the hot, humid day and gaze into the dark tree lines. Then what sounded like a screech went from my left ear to my right. The volume getting louder and farther back. I assume some animal was running about in the trees just going back and forth for no apparent reason. It was loud enough where I packed up and walked further to a new location. I will not be sleeping with some animal hacking off their throat in my ears.
It’s been a couple of days where I’m used to life on the road now. Hot humid days? Check. Walking and only that? Check. Foul manure smell in certain areas? A big check. The occasional cop on the side of the road pulling someone over? Check. As I walk, I notice that there’s a sort of camaraderie amongst people who travel via bike or foot. When you see another you both subconsciously wave to another or talk about where you’re going. “How far”, “When did you start?” I met a man going through the greenway path which takes you from Maine to Florida. A route meant mainly for bikes, but you could walk it too. Though I’m not sure why he would want to go south with hurricane Dorian and all. But safe travels.
What I can say is that I’m getting used to this whole walking every day. Finding a place to sleep is always a daily task. Munching on bars and trail mix is ok. But the occasional fresh and real food is always welcomed. The support has been fantastic! People out here are friendly (for the most part). The sights are wonderful to see and I await for more as I continue to walk. Until next time!