Hiking, Self Care, Travel

Life lessons I learned hiking the Appalachian Trail as a homeless hiker

Appalachian Trail hiker learns life lessons as homeless hiker

 

Homelessness is often equated with despair, and misery, and hopelessness. But maybe there is another side to this issue. Maybe, as crazy as it sounds, choosing to leave the comforts of home can be a liberating adventure.

An unusual group of people, including perpetual travelers, digital nomads, and long-distance hikers, often make the conscious decision to become “homeless.” This means giving up certainty about where they are going to sleep each night. Far from family and friends. Going to a favorite restaurant to order the usual isn’t an option. The job that provides regular income is long gone. They see these challenges, and rather than follow the logical path, decide to plunge into the unknown.

I became one of these intentionally “homeless” people last year. I wanted (needed?) to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. For nearly 6 months, I lived off what I carried on my back and the generosity of others, many of whom I had never met before. In this new world, shaving was discouraged, every day was casual Friday, and the only rush-hour was a frenzied race to reach the All-You-Can-Eat before they switched to dinner prices. It was glorious.

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Blogging

Make Facebook great again with Facebook Groups

I’m rarely ahead of the curve, particularly when it comes to social media. However, when Mark Zuckerberg shared his 10-year plan for Facebook, it didn’t sound like science fiction. I was nodding along. Excited even. He wants to transform Facebook Groups into a meaningful platform for connecting people with shared values. The word “community” was used a lot.

In real life, I’m a pathologically introverted person. In Facebook Groups, the anxiety and inhibitions tied to social interaction diminish. I’m able to connect with people I never would have met otherwise. New people with fascinating stories, some of whom are nearly are crazy as I am. It’s miraculous when you stop to think about it.

 

Facebook Groups is not a new thing.

Approximately 1 billion people have tried FB groups. However, according to Zuckerberg, only 10% are in what he calls “meaningful” groups. The other 90% rely primary on personal newsfeeds to stay connected with friends and family. After discovering the magic of several “meaningful” Facebook Groups, my personal newsfeed feels like the muggle version of social media. I can still get my social media fix, but it’s unlikely to help me summon my Patronus when the Death Eaters come calling.

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(almost) funny, Hiking

Celebrate International Yoga Day AND Hike Naked Day #multitasking

Hike Naked Day

June 21 marks the first day of summer. Words like scorching, sweating, sweltering, and sunburn are part of our daily conversations. It’s time to get away, preferably someplace quiet and cool. Maybe a short hike through the woods to a secluded spot. You’re not picky, but a nearby waterfall spilling into a refreshing pool would be nice.   

 

If you’re heading outdoors to get away from the craziness and chaos and heat, you might be in for a surprise. June 21 is International Yoga Day AND Hike Naked Day.

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Guest Post, social commentary

Where have all the good men gone?

wonder woman quotes

Movies inspired by Marvel and DC Comics characters create a series of 2.5-hour immersions into worlds of fantasy. Through our 3-D glasses, we connect with Iron Man. When he shrugs off explosions to thwart the evil intentions of the villain de jour, we feel the jolt. Even when we don the cape of the tragically flawed (but well-intentioned) Batman, we feel the exhilarating rush of having just enough superhuman ability to win the day. For 2.5hrs (not including trailers), the answer to the “where have all the good men gone” question is satisfyingly obvious.

 

WE are the “good men;” and we’re going wherever we’re needed most.  

 

DC Comics just turned this “where have all the good men gone question” on its head in a wonderfully satisfying twist with the release of Wonder Woman. I would love to extol the virtues of a woman who transcends the stereotypical damsel in distress, is a compassionate yet powerful role model, and manages to captivate us with charisma rather than witty one-liners. Instead, I have to turn the soapbox over to Steelcharmer. He won’t give us exclusive access to his lunch with President Trump next week if I don’t share his letter about the dangers of movies like Wonder Woman first.

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(almost) funny, Blogging

7777 SEO Tips sure to Supercharge your Site

funny SEO Tips for blogging beginners

Sorry about that.

Way too much alliteration and enthusiasm for a title, but apparently, words and energy are big turn-ons for search engines. And most of us bloggers know that we’ve gotta show a little skin if we want to snag the biggies like Google and Ask Jeeves.

Before we go any farther, I’m not one of the 10,700,000 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts waiting to share the secret to making your blog the #1 hit on search engines. I don’t have a degree in coding, I don’t offer a limited-time-only webinar guaranteed to skyrocket your blog traffic into the stratosphere. I don’t even have pop-ups. I’m just a guy with a few theories about how Order is achieved in the Internet.  

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, you’ll be happy to hear that I haven’t made up researched 7,777 tips designed to dazzle you with my brilliance. There will be no scrolling-related injuries on my watch. No Ma’am. This is a safe place.

However, I would like to share a few tested strategies that will get your latest and greatest in front of future fans. Some may even make blogging a fun experience again. (Remember when blogging was fun?)

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