Came across a great article today in the Tampa Bay Times about a man finding peace and purpose through hiking along the the Appalachian Trail.
Tom McCarthy says he has loved exploring the outdoors since he was a kid and has continued to find hiking as an opportunity for epiphany and enlightenment
Two years into his retirement, Tom McCarthy felt like he hadn’t accomplished much. That is something because everything about the man says he, at the young age of 62, has had a full and prosperous life including a career as as business owner and a family man with grandchildren to look forward to.
At times of feeling unfulfilled, hiking was sometimes the answer. He’d put in a few excursions here and there. They seemed to quell the feeling. Maybe he’d try the Appalachian Trail, he figured. He’d give himself eight years of on-and-off hiking to do it.
And during these hikes that is what hit him
“He knows the hiking gave him an “inner peace.” That there was a freedom to waking up in the morning, strapping his belongings to his back and marching off into the woods without an inkling of where he’d set up his next camp, he said. That this remote strip, 2,184 miles long and a few yards wide, is a world of transient souls, all equal, bound by the journey. He liked that. “There’s just something about hiking long distance that’s more spiritual,” he said.”
He finished the last 909 miles between May and September this year.