Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America. The Across America is the Appalachian Trail, hiked from north to south (Maine to Georgia) rather than the usual south to north. 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, shadowning, 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.