Why am I choosing to leave a near-decade long and well paying job — not to mention my family and creature comforts of home — to spend the next six months hiking the oldest mountain range in the world?

Most people live with regret rather well. Heck, I’ve made some life choices of my own that I’d rather not admit, but that’s life. Yet the older I’ve gotten, I can’t allow the deeply rooted vein of discontent with letting things slip through my proverbial fingers, to continue.

It was in the middle of 2012 that I found out that my biological father had passed, and for both obvious and too-long-to-blog-about-now reasons, it destroyed me emotionally. There had, for many years, been a yearning to contact him; I wanted to let him know that I was ok. I didn’t exactly want to have a relationship with him, but I think I always wanted him to know that his first and eldest son was okay, even if I hadn’t seen him for 30 years. Riddled with deep guilt and regret, I knew I would have to live with this forever.

As I write this, rolling northbound on a commuter train headed for Manhattan, I watch trees and countryside slide past my window. Including today, I have five days left at the office. A place that, for almost nine years, I have considered my second home. The closer I get to my final day, I know deep in my soul that I have always wanted to do something like this; to place myself in the path of adversity, to hand over my fate to the challenge of the trail: nothing has ever felt so right.

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