My original plan was to work in Saudi Arabia another year and do this fundraising hike in March of 2019. However, our company recently lost the contract and we are all being laid off on December 31, 2017. I was undecided for quite a while on what to do after leaving Saudi, but suddenly got the inspiration last night to just go ahead and move the hike up a year and start it in March 2018 instead. That's quite soon, which feels overwhelming in some ways, but the timing feels right. I have the free time now. I have the money right now that I have saved to pay for this hike. No time like the present. I will need to really get moving on the fundraising, researching and buying gear, etc. I fly out of Saudi on January 4, 2018 and will head to Portland, Oregon first to visit my brother and his family. That will be a perfect location to get to a big REI store and purchase my gear. I will then fly back to Hawaii to see family and friends, but also will do some long distance backpacking trails there to test out the gear and start getting in hiking shape. I'm planning to do the Waimanu Valley trail on the Big Island and also the Na'pali Coast trail on Kaua'i. Anyone who is in Hawaii is welcome to join me! It's crazy that this is all happening so soon all of a sudden. My head is spinning a bit right now. But like I said, the timing feels right so time to start moving. I'll keep you guys updated.