1. the act of keeping back, withholding, or setting apart.
2. the act of making an exception or qualification.
3. an exception or qualification made expressly or tacitly: to accept something, but with inner reservations.
4. an arrangement to secure accommodations at a restaurant or hotel, on a boat or plane, etc.
I most certainly have my reservations about it. Am I keeping back and withholding? Is hiking an easy cop-out for trying something new and challenging? I know the CDT will be brutal, but at the core of it all, it is walking. Walking for a long time, but, walking. Something most of us had mastered by the time we were a year old. I never had lifelong dreams of traversing the country on foot, and now I am considering doing it for the third time? Without a doubt, I have missed out on many things in life to make this happen. I have allowed dust to gather on my passport, I have watched relationships dissolve, friendships fade. As I quickly approach my 26th birthday, it is necessary for me to consider the fact that I have never established a career, and sooner than later I might need to figure out which path to follow.
But what is my exception or qualification of my reservations? This is the triple crown, and if/when I complete it, I plan on never walking anywhere ever again. Am I making an exception to hike it this year and put my life on hold a little longer so that I never have to again? My life is almost deja vu from two years ago. Am I willing to put it on hold for another year to complete this? Can I move on after I finish this trail? Will I find something new to entertain myself?
Some folks live, breathe, and die for thru-hiking. They plan for years. Have a huge network of people following them. Host pre and post-trail events to educate and promote their experience. All my life I have envied those with passions, not any passion in particular, but just the idea that they are an arrow pointed in a specific direction with a defined target. Hiking is their passion in life. I am not that person. Of course there are elements of hiking I like, such as the OUTSTANDING community, the physical challenge, the alone time and break from society. But I've never wanted thru-hiking to define me. And yet, here it is, defining nearly the last 4 years of my life. I guess it is no surprise that I feel a little suffocated and yearn for something new.
In the last month or so, I have accepted I am hiking the CDT. I have purchased the maps, started the planning and have begun buying bulk food to create my meals. I'm evaluating my finances, and talking to other eager hikers. But I'm not sure that my heart is really in it. My inner reservations having me feeling like I am traveling in circles instead of the winding path I felt I was on for so long. Another summer of walking. And I will likely need to return to Park City for the winter to re-establish financial security. Winter #4. I miss beaches and traveling to foreign countries. As much as I love Park City and could see myself living here permanently, I still feel the pull to experience new places.
So many reservations. So for the time being, I will keep planning and packing. My inner reservations will ebb and flow, along with my level of excitement for the CDT. And in the meantime, I guess I should start booking my reservations for flights and Amtrak...