Hi friends and family! Brief life update.
I left my finance job in fall 2021 after getting burnt out. Shortly after, I took a trip to NV and UT with my dad, where I fell in love with hiking, the outdoors, and the American West. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to spend most of my time hiking and traveling. I lived out of a used SUV while roaming the Western US for most of 2022, and my day hiking soon escalated to backpacking and thru-hiking. I walked Te Araroa (1,800mi across New Zealand) in winter 2023 and just finished the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650mi from Mexico to Canada via CA, OR, and WA). My final adventure for 2023 is the Arizona Trail (800mi from Mexico to UT via AZ), which I start next week.
Thru-hikes are a selfish endeavor — leaving friends, family, work, and other real-world responsibilities for life on trail — so I want to use my next trip as a platform to do something that benefits others. I recently learned about HIKE for Mental Health, a 501(c)(3) that contributes 80% of funds to mental illness research/support programs and 20% to wilderness trail preservation. I’ve struggled with mental health and recognized its importance while navigating college, work, and relationships and seeking balance in life. Nature and exercise have been therapeutic for me, so this cause is personal for me and an ideal way to give back.
I’m hoping to raise $800 — $1 for each mile of the AZT. You can donate or share the fundraiser with others via the below links. If you’d like to follow along, I upload my hikes and pictures from each day on trail to Strava and Instagram. You can search my name or @gqhiker (my trail name is “GQ”).
Thank you for your time, consideration, and support. Gian
1 in 4 families is affected by mental illness.
HIKE for Mental Health is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded on the vision of a world in which everyone, including those who suffer mental illness, can find the simple joy of living.
Our mission is to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted by mental illness, eliminate the associated stigma, and foster responsible use of wilderness trails.
As an all-volunteer organization, we distribute 100% of contributions raised by our hikes.
- 80% funds scientific research to understand and treat mental illness
- 20% conserves national wilderness trails
Your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS. Thank you for your support.
To learn more, visit hikeformentalhealth.org.
To join a hike click here.