When I set out on the Appalachian Trail in June 2020, I desperately wanted an escape. Escape from the pandemic, escape from the political climate, escape from technology and social media, escape from what life had become. Upon my completion of a week on the trail I believed deeply that time in nature away from technology made me a more connected, more grateful human being. This is the story of my journey to rediscover myself. Thanks for coming and please enjoy. Without further ado, here is Analog. (Please do watch with headphones or turn on closed captions 😊)
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After just a couple days, many bug bites and one too many strange noises at night, I developed a deep appreciation for the simple conveniences of civilization.
I now go back to the Appalachian Trail every year to remind myself what it is to be human. To remind myself of the simple luxuries I take for granted every day. Clean running water, a soft pillow, a toilet.
I meet so many characters every time I go. A 70 year old retired man from Texas, a middle aged cardiac arrest survivor from New Jersey raising awareness for heart health, (both of whom met on the trail and decided to stick together). A nurse who desperately needed a break from the daily trauma of treating COVID patients. A German boy discovering the backwoods of the American east and making friends along the way.
There is a certain ease to connecting with these beings out there. I could go hours, sometimes a full day without seeing a soul. When I do see someone It’s natural to connect with them. As someone who always felt shy with strangers, meeting new people and making friends on the trail is almost effortless. Never have I felt so connected to humanity.
And so each year I go, with my pack and my trusty Solcosm Voyager 35mm point and shoot camera. Documenting my experience one exposure at a time.
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