Inspired by this great post I thought I would adapt a few of these suggestions for calling Lauren. Connecting with loved ones remotely is hard enough. Connecting with them when they are experiencing a fundamentally different way of life from what most people will ever know is even more challenging. Getting asked simple questions about logistics can be a real drag when on the trail because that is the boring stuff that you deal with every moment. Likewise questions about bears, bugs, or other threats is likewise alienating from well intentioned loved ones. When people start sharing their fear, and asking you to do x, y or z to protect yourself from some risk it not only pisses you off as an independent, self sufficient adult who is successfully challenging themselves in a foreign environment, but it ostracizes the person who suggested it as pushy. Check out these questions as a starting point next time you call Lauren… Or better yet, read the original post for more inspiration.
How are you feeling today?
What was the last section like? Was it inspiring in any way?
What was the hardest part about it? or What was your favorite part about it?
How are your feet/back/new shoes/stomach problems/whatever small thing she told you has changed?
How are you feeling about the trip so far? Are you meeting your non-mileage goals?
What are you looking forward to? When is your next surprise?
What’s it like when you get to town? How rushed are you in the resupply process?
Are you hiking with people? What do you think of them? Any few familiar faces or are you still out-hiking everyone?
How much time are you spending alone? Is it too little? Too much?
What have you been thinking about as you hike? Any major revelations on life?
Have you had any really upsetting moments?
Have you had any moments where you were afraid?