Tuesday, October 1, 2013

And So It Begins

2013 was a good year for me. This was the year I finally took the leap to start living my dreams. In March, I quit my job and embarked on a five and half month long hike of the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail, in case you don't know, is a 2200 mile long hiking path that runs from Georgia to Maine. Along the way, I dealt with extreme heat, extreme cold, non-stop rain throughout the month of June, incessant gnats and black flies, mud, roots, rocks, and ridiculously steep climbs and descents. It was fantastic!

When I returned home in September, I was the healthiest I have ever been in my life. I had lost 25 pounds on the trail. (Admittedly, I was a little TOO skinny, but hey, the trail was really hard!) I was used to hiking for 10 to 12 hours per day carrying a 30 pound pack. I was really strong in the legs, the arms, and the core.

What's more, is during the five and half months of living outdoors, I did not have one headache, and did not have any sinus problems. This came as a bit of a surprise, since for the past few years, I had been experiencing sinus problems with greater and greater frequency, I got severe headaches an average of 3 to 4 times per week, and suffered bouts of insomnia. (I slept like a rock on the trail!)

Then I moved home.

Within 5 days, I was waking up with throbbing headaches and completely blocked sinuses. I was sneezing incessantly. I was waking up during the night with difficulty breathing. And I was hypersensitive to smells. I'd walk into the bathroom and I was overwhelmed by the smell of the bathroom cleaners. I felt like I was living in a toxic chemical dumping ground!

Living outside didn't make me sick, but living inside sure was! So now I am faced with a decision: do I move into a yurt or do I try to clean up my indoor environment? Well, since I have a place to live indoors and yurts are pretty expensive (especially when you haven't had a paycheck for 6 months) it's gonna have to be cleaning up the indoors.

But first, I have to learn what to do!


  1. What an accomplishment! I've read memoirs by women who've taken it on, and it sounded amazing. I can't wait to see what you write, in terms of cleaning up the home. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I read a lot of memoirs, too, as inspiration. You can see my hiking blog at heatherhikes.com