The lesson here is to hike the trail the way you want - live the life you want.
The author challenges himself with Lisa, his hiking partner, physically through this backpacking trip, and intellectually by pondering the meaning of it all, what we can do to find more meaning and how to go about reaching this meaning. "Most people lead a life of quiet desperation," Henry David Thoreau said. Mr. Tapon thinks we should not settle for comfort, not "stay put and cling". We should get up and out - "soar". Comfort is not magic. And isn't magic what we're striving for? Well, yes! Passion, joy from passion, both leading to this magic.
You guessed it. This book is a guide, a self help, a how-to read that happens to take place while on a journey, and that's how it landed on my desk.
Hike your own Hike has a textbook appearance - headings, sub headings, charts, bullets, quotes interspersed throughout, photographs, maps, an index, endnotes, even quizzes. It is also personal and honest.
Comparisons will be made to Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Bryson's A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail). It is neither and a little bit of both. As such, it is a beneficial guide to improving the quality of one's life. Hardly new, rather another reminder and nudge to get back on the track of optimization. From that perspective, it's a worthwhile read.
The travel portion is valuable for newbies; disappointing for seasoned hikers of the Appalachian Trail and those well read about it.
It is hoped the book becomes a catalyst for a new trend in the reader's life. Mr. Tapon has done his part well. He has provided numerous tools. The value lies in what the reader chooses to take from it. ----Thom Gabrukiewicz, Redding.com
By hiking the Appalachian Trail, Francis gave himself 4 months to find out if he could get more out of life. This became his inflection point, where he let himself pursue a radically different direction in life. In doing so, Francis discovered his true passion is to be a travel writer, book author, and backpacker.
Understandably, Francis' new, itinerant lifestyle is not for everyone, and hiking the AT might not be your inflection point. Francis gets that. But what Hike Your Own Hike is about, is giving yourself permission to take a break from the everyday groove that you've worked yourself into, to try something different that might make you a lot more happy. It's about reducing the level of fear we all experience when we question our life-course and consider alternative options. ----BootsnAll.com review
Hike Your Own Hike is a wonderful self development and self help book that shows you why walking is so powerful for your mind, body and soul, as well as covering life lessons that will change our life with increased self empowerment, emotional health and emotional wealth." --BellaOnline.com
While you enjoy the intense journey, you’ll learn: Why the Appalachian Trail’s credo is relevant to your life.
- How to control your ﬁnances.
- How to discover and pursue your passion.
- How to avoid costly mistakes and conquer your fears.
- How to dramatically improve your health.
- Why the Appalachian Trail teaches you more about human nature than Mother Nature.
- How to shrug off misfortune and live stress free.
- Why mosquitoes just want to be your friend.
Packed with a map, photographs, sidebars, and self assessment quizzes!
Francis Tapon knew he had a good life—he had a great career, fantastic friends, a nice home, and a cool electric shaver. However, something was missing. His life was good, but not great. It was quite predictable and safe, but thoroughly uninspiring. He wondered how to take his life to the next level.
He thought it would be smart to do what the sages do: hang out in the woods for several months and get some wisdom. Although he ultimately found wisdom, ﬁnding it wasn’t as easy or as romantic as all those spiritual books say it is. They neglect to mention that during the hot humid summer months there’s no air conditioning in the woods.
Hike Your Own Hike balances the story of an adventurous and insightful trip across the Appalachian Mountains with practical advice on how to squeeze the most out of life both on and off the trail. It’s enlightening, educational, and entertaining. It’s a
serious book that doesn’t take itself so seriously.
Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in one season has soared in popularity over the last 20 years. Compared to 1986, there are eight times more people trying to “thru-hike” it! What accounts for this phenomenon?
Today people are overly stressed and need a break to return to the fundamentals. Feeling disconnected from the rhythms of life, hikers go on multi-month trails to recalibrate their perspective and to remind themselves of what really matters.
Hike Your Own Hike is about an incredible pilgrimage, what we can learn from it, and how to enrich our lives without getting too muddy.
Francis is donating 50% of his book royalty to the Appalachian Trail, the Paciﬁc Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. So even if you don’t think you’ll like this book, buy it anyway so you can support those trails.
“This is definitely not your ordinary Appalachian Trail thru-hike memoir.”
—Brian T. Fitzgerald, Chair, Appalachian Trail Conservancy
“Francis Tapon’s book is a marvelous addition to the very best outdoor and personal development books available. Against the
backdrop of a rich and unique journey along the Appalachian Trail, Hike Your Own Hike offers the reader a wealth of
practical how-tos blended masterfully with the wisdom of the ages. This isn’t another boring hiking guidebook, it’s a wonderful
guidebook for life.” —Kim and Demetri Coupounas, Co-Founders, GoLite
“Don’t expect a dull trail log. Don’t expect a humdrum self-help book. Instead, expect to laugh and learn as Hike Your Own Hike weaves practical wisdom with an epic journey as the backdrop.”—Dave Roberson, President and Chief Operating Ofﬁcer of Hitachi Data Systems
“It’s hard to imagine a book that combines the strengths of Bill Bryson’s "Walk in the Woods" and Stephen Covey’s "7 Habits of Highly Effective People," but "Hike Your Own Hike" has done it!” —Marco Iansiti, Harvard Business School Professor