Some of the resources that a thru-hiker needs or wants are available for free in various formats. Here are my 5 favorites.
1) GPS and in-phone maps:
The Hiker Bot app is a free tool that can take the place of Guthooks. Sadly, it is not yet available for Apple iWhatever products. But, if you are an Android user, check it out, it might save you $70. (more…)
UPDATE: This GIVEAWAY is now closed. Winners are: Stephanie and Melissa, you will be contacted by email for your signed copy of “Life Outside the Cubicle!”
Did we really thru-hike the Appalachian Trail? It seems like all a dream now – a really, really good dream. But we have our memories, experiences, pictures, videos, friends and overall feeling of badass-ery to show for it. Oh, and slightly larger feet (yes, really – my feet have flattened out a bit, I guess with all that walking I did on them, they really took a pounding). The AT was certainly an adventure, but it wasn’t our first foray into the great unknown. Our strategy of valuing experiences over stuff began in 2012, over 5 years ago, when we first started talking about quitting our corporate jobs in Dallas. In June of 2013, we did just that, sold virtually everything we owned, and moved to Costa Rica with just 9 suitcases to our name. It’s ok, you can call us crazy, we certainly felt it and we knew we were taking a risk. But you know what? It turned out to be the best decision! It was so freeing to sell off our unnecessary “stuff.” We felt so light, not being tied down (or mortaged) to anything. Moving to Costa Rica was a way of starting over, trying to live more simply than we had before in Dallas. We were pretty sure that would have been hard to do staying in Dallas. Why Costa Rica? Well, you can read my book to find out more details, but here is the short answer: –It was a close plane ride to the States, for us to visit our families, –The language is Spanish which we knew a tiny bit of (having lived in Texas), –We heard Costa Ricans were kind to foreigners, –Costa Rica has no army, –Even though the whole country is about the size of West Virginia, it has various different climates to choose from. We settled down in a small coffee farming town in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, and made lots of friends right away (some even before we landed). I started doing yoga, and Sunsets and I both started hiking in the high elevations and mountains surrounding our home. I started baking and cooking a lot more, experimenting with the local produce. I actually ran a small bakery – “Jen’s Bake Shop” – out of my home for a while; baking breads, pastries, and cookies, before I found out it was too much work for too little profit (but it was still fun to actually DO something I’d always thought about!). And eventually, wrote Costa Rica Chica Cookbook. Sunsets got into photography, we were really in the best place to photograph stunning birds, wildlife, sunsets (ahem) and valleys. He also wrote and spoke for International Living. I started making my arm candy (jewelry) 3 months after we had landed there, which grew into a nice little part-time income.
Coffee fields (see the pickers?) in our small town of Grecia.
And we wrote. A LOT. By the time we left Costa Rica 4 years later, we had 6 books published between us, 4 of which are/have been Amazon best sellers!
Us with our 6 published books!
Most people know me as an author for my first book Costa Rica Chica, but really the book I’m most proud of is Life Outside the Cubicle. Because, this is my life now! Ever since I had gotten out of the cubicle, my life has exploded with new and exciting possibilities. I now have time to explore myself. Through my blog (Costa Rica Chica), I met many other like-minded people in different walks of life, all doing different (and out of the box) things. In fact, in the book Life Outside the Cubicle, I interview 8 different people who are living outside the “normal” framework of a 9-5 job and how this change has impacted their lives. This book can be a motivating factor for those looking for an outside the box lifestyle that allows for freedom to do things (like thru-hike the Appalachian Trail for 6 months).
So, to help with this, I’m doing a GIVEAWAY for a signed “Life Outside the Cubicle” book for TWO (2) lucky winners!
To enter, do the following:
- Comment on this blog post and tell me something you have done or would like to do that is outside the box (it can be ANYTHING)!
- Share this post on your Facebook page (click here to see our FB post to share easily).
- Subscribe to our Blog or YouTube channel or like our Facebook Page (if you’re already subscribed or liked to one of these, thanks!).
That’s it! Cut off is midnight CST on Tuesday, Feb. 6th, USA shipping only. Two (2) winners will be picked and announced on Wednesday, Feb. 7th!
Most Appalachian Trail thru-hikers start the trail as a neophyte and end it as an expert. Along the way they learn that some of the things they had been told about the trail just aren’t true. These are five of those things for us. (more…)