PCT Thru Hike or School/Career

Hi Steph,
My name is Taylor, and I am a 23 year old woman from Vernon, British Columbia. While I am not a climber, base jumper or wingsuit pilot, I am someone who enjoys a simple life and being outside. Your blog is one of my favourites and I have found that the “Hi Steph” posts have addressed many of the topics I wonder about daily. Lately, I have been considering hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018, which would be my first thru hike.

I graduated from university last year. While most of my closest friends have decided on their careers and have been super work-focused, I have been taking time to travel, spend time with my family, and work seasonal jobs which have turned out to be worthwhile, interesting life experiences.

Anyways, I am at this point in my life where I am basically deciding whether to 1) hike the PCT and not commit to a career or 2) do the “easy thing” and start a career/go back to school knowing that I’m entering a life where extended travel and adventure will be difficult, if not impossible. I am stoked for what the future holds and the decision seems clear to me, but I do have doubts creep into my mind occasionally. However, my desire to hike the PCT has been much stronger than the doubt (so far, at least!). That being said, I have decided to start a little personal project, and that is why I am writing to you today.

I am asking different badass women that have inspired me 1) what their main piece of advice would be for someone in my situation and 2) to share a quote that they find insightful. When I’m making big life decisions and thinking about the future I would love to have this collection of thoughts and ideas to look back on.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I would appreciate any thoughts you have, it would mean a lot to me.

Two words Taylor: do it 🙂

You have a degree, and you are in a perfect position to go on for more schooling or start a career, and it doesn’t matter whatsoever if you do those things now or in one year or two. In fact, when interviewing or applying, doing something like hiking the PCT will only make you stand out from other candidates.

I honestly can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t do this. There’s one thing that’s always been true for me so far: following your passion will always take you to the right place. It will inspire you to do your best and to be your best. But I also have learned that life is highly unpredictable so being smart about it and making sure you’ve put yourself in a position where you are able to have plenty of choices in life and you know you can take care of yourself is the way to set yourself up to make seemingly big or risky moves when the time is right. You’ve put all your ducks in a row for plan B, and now you can go for your dream and feel completely confident about it.

Here’s my quote for you: “have faith in Allah but always tie your camel.” You’ve got your camel tied: now go!

2 responses to “PCT Thru Hike or School/Career”

  1. Peter Dorsa says:

    Taylor, I’d go for it! The life experiences gained on the trail will be t least as important if not more so then academics. Also you might find unforeseen opportunities arise from this experience.

  2. Marie Canadien says:

    I hope when you have your collection of stories, quotes, and advice that you’ll make it available for others also. I’d love to see the results.


These are my sponsors. THEY ARE FABULOUS!