People say hiking the Appalachian Trail is a “life changing experience” and I agree I believe I've learned to be a little more patient. I've learned to realize what is important in life. I've learned to appreciate relationships with friends and loved ones. I've learned about spending time with myself. I've learned about pain and how much I could stand. I've learned the joy of climbing Mount Albert and seeing the beauty of the surrounding mountains. I've learned the happiness you feel when you get into a town for your mail drop. I've learned to appreciate what it means to have “Trail Magic” come your way. I've seen the beauty of the wild animals and I've seen how Mother Nature displays her beauty as you hike from Georgia to Maine. I've watched as everything turns green and the flowers begin to bloom. I appreciate a good pair of hiking boots while trekking through the rocks of Pennsylvania and boulders of the beautiful White Mountains. I've learned to deal with the weather changes as your going across Mt. Washington and the Presidential Mountains. I've learned of the peacefulness of the 100 Mile Wilderness and I've felt the excitement of climbing the last mountain, Mt. Katahdin. I think of these many things every day. I dream of them every night. Whenever I see a mountain or I pass a wooded area, my memory takes me back to the Appalachian Trail. Do you know what? I am going to do it again when I'm 70 Marine One aka David A Jensen
manages the Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding Programme of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).