My recent cross-country walk changed my life. I've been unable to stop thinking about those beautiful riverlands ever since I got back to Seoul, and I now find myself wondering what I can do to change my life so that I'm spending most of my time out on the trails, walking all over this beautiful country. As I recently wrote to a friend, I was happier and healthier out there, and office life just isn't for me, however much I like my job and my current boss.
You might remember this old joke about the nunnery:
There was once a cloistered order at which the nuns were allowed to speak only two words to the Mother Superior every ten years. Sister Clara entered as a novice and spent her first ten years in utter silence. When she finally came before the Mother Superior, she said, "Bed hard." Another ten years passed; Sister Clara appeared before the Mother Superior and said, "Food cold." And after thirty years at the cloister, Sister Clara stood before the Mother Superior and said, "I quit." As Clara stalked out of the room, the Mother Superior stood and shouted after her, "Right—go, then! All you ever do is complain, complain, complain!"
In my case, those two words would be: feet hurt.
Like it or not, this appears to be one of the dubious gifts I received from walking 550 kilometers: my feet constantly ache. Sometimes, the pain goes away, but the moment I put any weight on my feet, the pain comes right back. After ten or twenty steps, I'm usually fine: it's an ache, not anything acute or debilitating. But it's a reminder to me of That Thing I Did, so I don't mind it that much. It helps me remember.
And it helps me look forward to the next such walk.