Our Goals For The New Year

Now that the holidays are over and 2020 is behind us we’re ready to start the new year off by creating a list of goals that we want to accomplish in the next 12 months.

Shari and I have some pretty specific things we want to accomplish by the end of 2021 but to be perfectly honest, our list this year looks very similar to our list of goals from last year. 2020 did not go as planned for a lot of people and we were not spared the disappointment of seeing our dreams put on hold. Like so many others we are looking to continue those dreams in 2021.

So here are a few of our important goals for this year.

First on our list is returning to the Appalachian Trail to complete our thru hike. We have been dreaming of this journey for over six years and in that time Shari and I have planned, researched gear and trail options, paid off all of our debts, and sacrificed and saved so that when the time finally arrived we would be in a good position to take on the challenge of walking 2,193 miles through 14 states.

We found ourselves in that position last year and completed 119 miles of the trail before having to head home due to closures and restrictions connected to the COVID outbreak. Our return to the trail this year, and its completion, is top on our list and we are beyond excited to pick up where we left off in North Carolina.

Our second goal for 2021 is to purchase a van, convert it into a tiny home on wheels, and hit the road!

We have been dreaming of exploring our country and living a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle for a few years and are thrilled at the thought of seeing that dream become a reality. Along with getting our lives in order to go walk in the woods for six months on the AT, we have been working at selling everything we own (well, almost everything) so that we can fit our lives into an eighty-four square foot box. We had yard sales, made countless trips to local charities to donate clothing and other household items, given away belongings to friends and family, and have sold our house in order to make this happen.

The van we decided on is the Ford Transit in the high-roof extended length version and we will be making that purchase in the late summer / early fall when we return from the AT.

On a more personal note, we plan to work on better communicating with each other this year. We celebrated our 20th anniversary in December and, like many couples with years under their belt, have found that the way we communicate with each other could use a little attention. We tend to assume that the other person understands our intent or is on board with a plan instead of having a clear discussion and coming to an agreed upon conclusion.

Making a conscious effort in this area of our relationship will no doubt help us with decisions in our van build (I thought you wanted the sink there!)

and while on trail (what do you mean we aren’t taking a zero today? I thought we were getting a day off!!)

A final goal that we have set for ourselves is to grow our social media presence.

When we began our AT adventure last year we started a YouTube channel where we posted daily videos for friends and family to keep tabs on us. That quickly transitioned into a public channel as more and more people in our community showed a great interest in watching us tackle the trail. We have since added both a Facebook and Instagram account, started a website, and are looking forward to growing our “brand” over the next 12 months.

2021 will be a year of physical challenges, travel and exploration, personal connection, and expanding our horizons in the world of social media. We can’t wait to see where we go!

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