Saturday, May 16, 2009

Whiny personal post: adventure difficulties

The recent Macalester Today had a short article on a friend who I knew from the cross-country ski team. The gist of the article is basically how she's ended up leading kayaking expeditions and such in the Midwest and the Amazon. I've got another friend who did something similar, giving up a job to teach English in Japan.

It's nice having a job and being somewhat settled down in an area, but sometimes it just seems like it will be difficult to do any sort of lengthy adventure. There are a few loans to pay off, there's an apartment full of stuff that would have to go into storage or completely sold off or something, and I'm not sure how employers generally view gaps in employment that occur when someone quits their job to bike across the country or some such thing.

The example I always think of is the Appalachian Trail. Another friend took off for the Georgia trailhead immediately after he graduated from college, and finished up in the fall. So he was able to do that in the gap between graduation and student loans kicking in, even if it took a little while for him to get started on a job hunt. Conversely, it seems like if I wanted to do the same thing, I'd have to somehow get a big leave of absence from work, pay off loans and rent in advance, and of course come up with the money to actually do the hike. I suppose it would be within the realm of possibility if I was a teacher with a few months off anyway, but still difficult.

But then again, it seems like some adventures would be taking a bit of a leap of faith in terms of whether it would even be enjoyable. It would probably be nice to take a few weekends with lengthy hikes and camping. That's more manageable, and would be an investment toward hiking the Appalachian Trail if I enjoy the smaller trips and I'd have the equipment to do it.

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