By Chris Lalich, PLA
Director of Project Operations
For me, the world is full of new adventures – so many places to see and so many cultures to experience. I’ve learned that to keep my brain activated, I occasionally have to break free and do something outside of the norm. The Appalachian Trail has been in the back of my head ever since I came across an instructional book about it in college. I bought that book, and was fascinated that something like this even existed. How does one really just drop everything and head off into the woods? How do you manage all that gear? Where do you sleep? How do you eat? It seemed impossible. I learned that it’s not.
Last year, I decided it was time. If not now, when? I had taken several multi-day backcountry hiking trips, so I had just enough confidence to think that I could do this. The actual hiking was not my biggest concern, though; it was the challenge of coordinating the trip. What about my job? My house? I discovered that I’m fortunate enough to work for a firm that sees these types of experiences as a benefit to everyone. They understood that this experience would benefit me both as a landscape architect and as a human being. With that, I rented my house, set all my bills on autopayment, resigned from my job (temporarily!), and flew off to Atlanta to begin this half-year journey.