Sick of looking for a job? Go for a (long) walk.
The Appalachian Trail is busting at the seams this year, in part because Governor Mark Sanford used it as an alibi while he running off to Argentina to see his mistress, and in part because so many people have nothing else to do these days but walk from Georgia to Maine.
Life on the trail can cost about $1 a mile ($2,000 for the six month trip–far cheaper than life in the civilized world). And there are plenty of places along the way where you can barter work for food.
Joel Millman, WSJ: Unable to find steady work in a dismal Florida job market, Dan Kearns did something a lot of gainfully employed Americans can only dream of: Ditch the straight life and hike the length of the Appalachian Trail.
Shouldering a 50-pound backpack, the 32-year-old construction worker hopped onto the trail in April at Neels Gap, Ga., joining other “through-hikers” bound for the AT’s northern end point, nearly 2,200 miles away in Maine’s Baxter State Park. He sold his car for $1,000 to finance the first leg of the trip, relying after that on handouts and the occasional farm job — often backbreaking work weeding vegetable beds or rolling bales of hay.
“I wouldn’t do this if I was employed,” the New Jersey native explains. “I couldn’t find any work, so I just decided to take a walk.”
There’s something odd about the fact that walking 2,000 miles through the wilderness is an escape from both the rigors of working AND the rigors of not working, but we’ll leave that discussion for another day.
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