No Way Back

No Way Back

Finally through-hiking the Appalachian Trail 2018

About 6 months ago, after a day hike in the austrian alps, I watched some YouTube videos about hiking in the evening. I came across a channel called Homemade Wanderlust of Jessica Mills, aka “Dixie”. She is an american hiker and at this time already through-hiked the Appalachian Trail. While watching her channel she was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Her videos really inspired me to also start a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail 2018. From this evening on there was this idea in my mind. Although I’m kind of an erratic person, I never got rid of this idea.

Some Research has to be done

In the next few weeks, I did some research. How can I accomplish to go hiking for about 6 months without losing my job or my apartment? Well, it was easier than I thought it will be. The company, I work for, has an ability called Sabbatical, where you can take a certain amount of free time. You don’t get paid, but you don’t loose your job. Next, my apartment. My sister works in Stuttgart, a town near of mine. For the last few months she already lived at mine during the week. So, I asked her if she would look after my apartment and pay for the rent. And guess what? She said yes. The two biggest problems were resolved in just minutes. Hell yeah!

Apply for a US Visa

The next point on the list was a Visa for the US. The normal Travel Visa, called “ESTA” only lasts for a maximum time of 3 months. A through-hike of the Appalachian Trail 2018 in just 3 months? No way! I wanna enjoy the trail and don’t be in a hurry! So, I applied for a B2 Travel Visa, which lasts for 10 years with a maximum of 6 months to be in the US in a row. As I was in the US embassy in Frankfurt, Germany I was really nervous. The were all kind of people applying for a Visa. All of them had huge amount of documents with them. I ONLY had my required DS-160 form. I asked myself why they had all those documents for?! But, my talk was a charm. The embassy employee was really kind. He just wanted to know what I want to do in the US. So I said: “Hiking the Appalachian Trail”. After a one-minute talk I had my Visa.

I think that was the point were I realized: THERE IS NO WAY BACK! The weekend after I got my Visa via mail, I booked the flight to the US.

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  1. Rooting for you! Wish you the best luck, good weather (as far as possible), few blisters, and good encounters to strangers all along the way.


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