Aaron Bailey decided to leave his SaaS job in New York to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and find himself. After hiking 2,650 miles, Aaron found silence, solitude, a new confidence, and that going to therapy might have been an easier choice! He’s sharing his advice for anyone considering a sabbatical and what he learned along the way of his 4.5 month journey.
A sabbatical is intentional rest.
What we’re talking about
- Escaping Your Job
- Hiking The PCT
- Lessons Learned
When You Decide You Need To Leave
Aaron decided he needed a change of pace when it came to his job and life but unlike others who either look for a new career or go on vacation, he decided to go on an adventure. This adventure was 7 months long and both a mental and physical test of who Aaron is with life lessons learned along the way. Ultimately, Aaron not only got to know himself better, but ended up finding a new job once it was all over.
Aaron’s Journey on The Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is from Mexico to Canada and 2,650 miles long, including 700 miles of desert. It is one of three trails that exist in the United States and it took Aaron 4.5 months to complete. The trail is grueling and things such as learning to light a fire in the rain are lessons you definitely learn if you didn’t know how to already. The trail is the equivalent of completing 100 marathons, so you definitely receive a confidence boost along the way in knowing what you have undertaken.
Taking Time To Find Yourself
Aaron’s advice for those of you considering a sabbatical is to ask yourself why and to look into therapy since hiking is quite an extreme. A sabbatical is a time for intentional rest and to discover what you want to do whether in life overall or in your career. The big takeaway for Aaron was in learning silence and solitude.
Discover what you’re going to do next.
QUOTABLES FROM THE PCT
"At the beginning, you can’t fathom the end – and at the end, you can’t fathom the beginning."
"I learned silence and solitude."
"There are these people referred to as trail angels and they do something called trail magic. They’re basically volunteers or alumni of the PCT and they’ll either hide a cooler of stuff or they’ll like cook burgers on trail and you’re not expecting it at all. You’re just hiking and you’re like oh my gosh, this is my 30th mile and everything hurts and I hate this section, or whatever and there’s just like a guy and a gal with a cooler with gatorades and Reese’s and you’re like “oh my God!” I fall to my knees sobbing, so stoked."
"One of the things I found out on [the] trail was people are either running towards something or running away from something, so you’ll get the whole gamut of people who are going through the gnarliest things and then you’ll also get these people who are not and are out there purely for fun."
One Way to Take a Sabbatical: Hike the PCT.
August 14, 2019