Episode 4: Nick Malizia on the Appalachian Trail - 5/4/21

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UPDATE April 2022: In May 2021, Paterno Fellow Nick Malizia joined hosts Ladin Suliman and Erin Flannery to talk about his semester hiking the Appalachian Trail. Now that Nick is graduating and has written his thesis on the experience, we thought we’d follow up and ask Nick for his reflections on his journey from Georgia to Maine a year after the original podcast.
“I reached Mount Katahdin on June 20, 113 days after I started my journey in Georgia. The trail kicked my butt. When I finished, I weighed about 140 pounds, and I only had five toenails left (worth it). After returning home, I wasn’t sure how I’d changed or what I’d learned, or if I had learned anything at all. The writing process helped me parse through my thoughts and experiences. With a few months of separation, hindsight kicked in and I felt like I was able to use my journals and memories to tell a cohesive story. I often found myself surprised by what I was writing; the process of remembering, of writing, and rewriting helped me shape the raw experience into a story I wasn’t even aware of at the time I was hiking. I feel like I have a greater appreciation for the role of writing in storytelling and in self-growth.”

Paterno Fellow Nick Malizia joins hosts Ladin Suliman and Erin Flannery to talk about his semester hiking the Appalachian Trail. Join us for a conversation about his creative senior thesis idea, learn how his experience has dismantled stereotypes about northern and southern culture, and hear about how he’s managing the physical toll of the hike. All this and much more in this wide-ranging episode!

Nick invites us to follow his experiences on his blog “as I interview hikers, speak to locals from Georgia to Maine, observe regional culture, examine the effect of the pandemic on Appalachia, and tell the story of a neurotic, 150 pound twenty-year-old hiking far too long in far too real a world across the Eastern United States.”

Nick Malizia Ladin Suliman Erin Flannery


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