No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24
I have not taken an extended amount of time off since March 2010.
At that point, I had moved in with my then girlfriend, and started an IT career versus the series of IT jobs I had previously.
I would be turning thirty-six later that year.
I felt it was time to “settle down” and perhaps become a more active weekend warrior looking to do contract work in the future.
And here it is over seven years later.
The ex and I ended up having different goals and beliefs.
And somehow I never did get into contract work.
The balancing act I’ve been trying to perform of managing a career while maintaining an active outdoor lifestyle is no longer working as well. Work has regularly colonized my so-called free time more than I’d like. Plans had to be canceled more than once due to ‘business needs,’ and sometimes I felt too tired to leave on a Friday night or even a Saturday morning. The new Front Range reality has not been ideal, either, if I am not up for driving further.
On the many positive sides, the economy is terrific right now. I have almost twenty years experience in the IT field. I have no debt or obligations owed. And the community I’ve been part of for almost twenty-years in Colorado is awesome.
I am in my early 40s. My overall health and hiking shape are both still excellent. But I now have additional knowledge and experience I did not have even a decade ago.
And, frankly, I do not know what the years ahead will bring regarding health, resources, or where I am at in life.
My lease is up in October. And Autumn is my favorite time to be outdoors.
From the outdoors perspective, by shying away from longer lettered route hikes these past few years, my outdoor skill set has increased. And beyond backpacking, I’ve learned to appreciate more subtle and different ways to enjoy the outdoors.
( And, hell, the seventh season of Game of Thrones is almost done. 😉 )
All these facts make for a perfect time to, well, take some time off.
I am giving myself the best gift an outdoors person can give themselves.
Not the gift of yet more gear, or a membership to some outdoor club or subscription to a service.
This best gift? The gift of time.
And one I have not enjoyed in quite a while for any extended period.
I’ll write a bit more in detail about specific plans a little later. But for now, I plan on a mixture of longer hikes that include one 150+ mile hike planned on a lettered route, a more ambitious 650+ mile route, and possibly a 300-mile trip as well. And also some road tripping, car camping, cherry picking some backpacking trips I’ve meant to check out for a few years now, etc. I plan to enjoy this gift from September until early Spring.
After that? We’ll see what the gift brings forth.
More to come.