I am a huge proponent of using the “no plan is the best plan” life strategy as a means of lazily masking my unwillingness to engage in thinking about the future. So far so good.
That said, I find predicting my plan for the year less an exercise in preparation and more a tool for me to look back on and say, “Yup, you're a fool who had and still has no idea what the hell he's doing with his life” or “Holy shit! You actually managed to follow through on most of the things you said you were going to do this year!” Honestly, I already have some things that I really want to do but that aren't on the agenda for this year. I guess I could drop everything and go do these things immediately, but there are other things that I, for some reason, feel that I need to do first.
What are these “things”? Patience, friend, just keep scrolling.
Let's see if the same will be true of the last year of the decade (that's right, 2010 was almost a decade ago – you're old).
Here's my best guess at speculating what's going to happen in this year's 31,536,000 seconds.
THE PLAN FOR 2019
Obviously, none of this is 100% with certainty going to happen (after all, I am writing this in Christchurch – a city which could be destroyed by an earthquake at any moment), but should everything pan out the way it's happening in my head now, here's what I am thinking for 2019 – feel free to meet me somewhere along the way with a large sack of money to completely change my course through the world.
- WILL: Be doing a lot of work on the blog. This includes finishing up my CDT Journal, and trip reports for my Japan Alps Traverse, Island Peak climb, the Manaslu Circuit, and the Annapurna Circuit.
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Go and see my first sumo wrestling match (because I've spent enough time in Japan that I really should have done this already).
- MIGHT: Take a quick trip out to South Korea or Hong Kong to catch up with awesome people (only because I'm in the area).
- PROBABLY WON'T: Go and summit any snowy peaks (but I seriously want to get into winter mountaineering).
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Die in a kerosene heater-related accident in my small Japanese apartment (because yes, everyone in Japan burns kerosene to stay warm in winter).
- WILL: Fatten myself up for the Pacific Crest Trail by feasting on infinity meat at Brazilian steakhouses and as much açaí as possible (when people ask me what my favorite food is, I typically tell them “Brazilian”).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Revisit one of my favorite places in the world, Garganta do Céu (and, ideally, spend the night there). Hopefully, it lives up to the grandness that I remember.
- MIGHT: Make my way down to the south of Brazil or to Iguazu Falls (or if things go really well, Patagonia?).
- PROBABLY WON'T: Get to the Amazon (I'm scared of the jungle).
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Be assaulted and robbed again (it was fun the first time, but it's more of a “once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience, you know?).
MAY-SEPTEMBER: Pacific Crest Trail
- WILL: Start my second trip on the Pacific Crest Trail (the first was what got the ball rolling on this entire blog thing).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Hike the Sierra High Route instead of the official Pacific Crest Trail through the Sierra Nevada Mountains (and make it to a couple of weddings that have failed to plan themselves around my life – what inconsiderate friends I have).
- MIGHT: Just say “fuck it” to the PCT and go hike somewhere/something else instead (I hear it's never as good as the first time – I think it was the PCT someone said that about).
- PROBABLY WON'T: Decide to hike the PCT southbound or bail on the PCT and decide to hike the Continental Divide Trail or the Appalachian Trail instead (if I was going to go anywhere it would probably be Canada or Utah).
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Be struck by lightning and killed in what I always imagine will be my end somewhere out in the wilderness (either that, or eaten by bears – sorry but I can't help but propagate the myth that bears are fearsomely dangerous and bloodthirsty creatures, it's just too good an image).
OCTOBER: Oregon? California?
- WILL: Hang out in Oregon or California after a successful completion of the Pacific Crest Trail? Or maybe fly somewhere in Asia before heading to Nepal? Taiwan? Korea? Hong Kong? I guess it depends on who will let me stay with them.
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Not immediately put back on all the weight I lose on the PCT (because the real reason I'm thru-hiking is for the thru-hiker diet).
- MIGHT: Be dead so none of what I plan on doing in October will really matter anyway (if this happens, be on the lookout for one last post I've written that's only (supposed to be) posted in the event of my death).
- PROBABLY WON'T: Be somewhere in Africa during this time (but honestly, who knows?).
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Have abandoned the blog and recused myself to a life of corporate servitude (I've been doing this for long enough now that I can't imagine what another life would look like for me).
- WILL: Start the Nepal section of the Great Himalaya Trail (I would like to go west to east, but the more common route is east to west – I will have to investigate this further).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: At the very least get back to Nepal and complete the Dhaulagiri Circuit and another 6,000+ m peak (or maybe I'll just go hang out in Kathmandu for a couple of months and continue writing?).
- MIGHT: End up heading back to New Zealand and completely blow off Nepal (it's been long enough that I've forgotten the horror of the sandflies and the mud).
- PROBABLY WON'T: Buy a van and spend the winter driving and hiking around North America (but not for lack of wanting to, only for lack of the monies).
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: End up like Tom Hanks in Castway and recuse myself to an island where I live out my days as a cave hermit.
2020: Get serious about mountaineering. Also, Mongolia. Also, Patagonia?
WHERE IS MY MIND?
So where am I at mentally to kick off the year?
I'm feeling good, friends. As much as I enjoy my time in the mountains I am really looking forward to getting lots of new content up on the blog because my backlog is huge and only continues to grow with each new adventure I embark on. It's difficult for me to find the time to sit down and write when my schedule is sporadic and I just have thirty minutes here or a couple of hours there, so it's good to be stable for a bit and be able to focus.
If there's been a burning question in your mind about something I've done, something on the blog, or something you want me to write, now's the time to get in touch. And whether this is your first time reading something on Halfway Anywhere or you're one of the three people who has read since the Brazil days, thank you. To everyone who has supported me, who reads, and who follows Halfway Anywhere, strangers and friends, you are awesome people.
Hopefully, I'll be able to come back here next year, the first of the future 20's (how will we distinguish the decades in the future!?) to report what's developed over the course of 2019. Make good decisions, friends.
P.S. – here's a haiku
Waking, walking, and writing
Cherry blossom blooms