Whichever trail you choose to hike on, you always have two more options about it – to hike it or to thru-hike it. The difference is simple – you can hike parts of the trail or you can do all of it from the beginning to the end.
The reasons behind both of the approaches are rather simple. Thru-hiking is usually the first thing everyone plans: to hike from A to Z, face all the upcoming adventures and challenges, meet all the people there and find the inspiration you were looking for. But usually no one plans the really hard challenges and physical distress which is a never leaving companion of every hiker. If the pressure is what you needed to feel better and alive again, you should enjoy and keep hiking. It (almost) always gets better and then you think it wasn’t that bad.
But if you’re not one of those people and constant pressure and tiredness is something that makes you feel less of a human being, you may want to consider taking a short break or even skipping parts of the trail. Stay in a hostel one day longer, explore the new city and enjoy the new views and new people. But if this does not make you feel better, take a bicycle, a train or a bus and get straight to the next stop planned. You may forget the hike was so hard. And of course there’s always an option of finishing earlier. Since the only person you are hiking for is yourself, you only have to consider your needs, well-being and feeling. If somewhere deep there’s a worm whispering ‘this is it’, maybe it is right. Pushing yourself helps to find unexpected qualities in yourself, but pushing yourself too hard may make you never go on a hike ever again.
And even though the opinions about hikers and thru-hikes are usually controversial in the hiking community, you cannot let it affect your decisions. Again, you are only hiking for you.
P.S. find the picture here: