My loans were paid off in the late summer of 2016 and it was in the fall of that year that I began to plan and prepare for my thru-hike. I was cautious in the announcement of my next adventure, telling only a couple of people here and there. It was daunting to announce such an ambitious goal to the people in my life. Some were confused, others were surprised, but the vast majority have come to be incredibly supportive.
The first person that I told when I was seriously beginning to consider hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was my then-boyfriend. We were driving to McCall, Idaho for a weekend of fall hiking and I said something along the lines of, "Ummm, soooo, I'm thinking about doing the PCT next summer..." It didn't go over particularly well at the time and lead to some long conversations throughout the remainder of our relationship. (He really did try to be supportive despite the worry!)
Then I told my best friend and she her reply was, "Oh yes! You SHOULD!! Need anyone to walk a section with you??" Best friends hold that title for a reason, though I'm about 110% sure that I have the very best one of them all!
I finally told my mom after we met up with some friends for lunch and were sitting in a Shopko parking lot. I almost always have my next travel adventure in mind, so when she asked my about my latest plan I told her about the PCT. She and I are similar in that when we aren't exactly sure how to react to something we do our research by asking a million questions and putting Google to good use. Since then she has been contacting everyone she has ever known that currently lives in the state of California, lining up rides and showers for me as I go.
The rest of my immediate family read about my trek in my Christmas letter (which was disguised as a list of things to buy me for Christmas, such as a fancy sleeping bag). My dad said that "it will be amazing, just like you!" One of my grandmothers responded, "Ohh Becca...... To be Young Again!"
Everyone else in my life has been a fair mix of worried and excited. It seems that after I answer all of their questions and demonstrate that I have indeed done a ton of research for the trip they convert more toward the excited end of the spectrum. Though I don't think that many of the wonderful people in my life will do the PCT in its entirety (because they aren't insane like me!), I do hope that it inspires them to fulfill one of their own goals!