What Would You Walk 1,000 Miles For?
I have, I believe, a healthy respect for the pioneers who packed up their belongings, left everything behind, sometimes at gunpoint, and headed across the plains. But sometimes, even though they were facing violence against them, I have to ask, why would they do that? Moreover, what pushes those who are not facing desperate circumstances to put themselves into difficult and uncomfortable situations?
It's an interesting question, and I have found a few things that might push people to shed their time in their comfort zone.
Many individuals are drawn to testing their physical and mental limits. Walking 1,000 miles can be seen as a major personal achievement and a way to push oneself beyond their comfort zone.
Explorers and adventurers might be motivated to walk long distances to discover new places, experience diverse landscapes, and immerse themselves in different cultures.
Walking 1,000 miles can be a powerful way to raise awareness and funds for a cause or charity that someone deeply cares about. It can attract attention and inspire others to contribute to the cause.
Long-distance walking can be a great form of exercise and can contribute to improved physical fitness and mental well-being. Some individuals might see it as a way to challenge themselves while staying healthy.
In some cultures and religions, undertaking a pilgrimage or a long walk to a sacred destination is considered an act of devotion, spiritual growth, or penance.
Walking 1,000 miles can provide an escape from the stresses of daily life and offer a chance for solitude, reflection, and a break from technology. I'm all for the escape from the daily stress, but I don't think I'm that stressed at this point that it's going to take a 1,000 mile hike to take that stress away.
There are several well-known long-distance trails worldwide, like the Appalachian Trail or Camino de Santiago. Some people may be motivated to walk these iconic routes for the challenge and the sense of accomplishment.
Walking 1,000 miles might be part of a larger bucket list or life goal for some individuals. If that is a goal of yours, I say pursue it.
Almost every day I take a look at this website, which features live webcams of U. S. stations based in Antarctica. Right now during winter in the southern hemisphere, with the exception of those stationed at Palmer Station, they are cut off from the rest of the planet and certainly in trying conditions. They certainly must have powerful motivation to put them in such isolation and hostile conditions.
Understand, I am not suggesting that everyone strap on their hiking boots, load up the backpack and head 1,000 miles across the country, or sign up and head down to McMurdo Station for a balmy winter getaway. However, it is instructive to me to see individuals, groups and communities that carry such a level of commitment that they are willing to sacrifice daily comfort.
Truly, the periods in my life where I have had the greatest growth and sense of accomplishment have not occurred while sitting in my easy chair in the front room. While a cross country trek may not be on our radar screens, I think it is worthwhile for us to stop and reflect and occasionally consider, “what would I walk 1,000 miles for?”