That feeling of freedom and vivacity that comes from seeing an open road laid out in front of you. The opportunities are endless, the potential adventures plentiful and the only boundaries that can hold you back are your choices. Every year thousands of people experience wonderful journeys and create unforgettable memories, and there are stories, photographs, paintings and so much more that give testimony to the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer.
Nevertheless, there is still a resounding majority who seem to shun the idea of hiking as a poor man’s holiday, or just far too much exercise to be considered a break. For those naysayers and ignorant criticizers, here is a pick of the crop, top 86 reasons to make hiking the next holiday that everyone considers.
Get up close to a wild bear
- Feel safe within spitting distance of something that could kill you.
- Get a glimpse of a grown man using an umbrella as a sun shade
- Tune into all the random thoughts that have been bouncing around your head all your life and draw some positive advice from them.
- See things every minute that is far more interesting than your hourly status updates, without ever feeling the urge to make them a status update.
- Become fitter than you’ve ever been before.
- Join the group of those in the know, who realize the true benefits of socks and sandals.
- Learn to enjoy the feeling of being lost without worrying about it
- Learn how to tell the time from nothing but the sun’s position in the sky.
- Reconnect with the basic belief that everyone is good and deserves our time and help
- Find out what all the fuss is about when you join the most misunderstood hobbyist community
- Stop caring what day or time it is…ever
- Stop using real names for people
- Enjoy not thinking or caring about what is going on at work
- Forget the importance you place on appearance and the feeling of needing to go through your morning routine before “showing your face to the world.”
Change your life
- Experience an uncharted exponential increase in your ability to put up with discomfort
- Truly enter a space in your mind where it is empty, no thoughts at all…nothing
- Stop smoking
- Stop drinking
- Stop caring how long you wear the same item of clothing for
- Stop waking up with that feeling that you’d rather do anything than get out of bed to go to work
- Learn how to fix anything with a role of duct tape
- Learn how to use an umbrella to solve 100 different daily problems
- Feel comfortable using your over-priced trekking poles when the umbrella just won’t suffice
- Learn to appreciate those you take for granted
- Learn to challenge those who take you for granted
- Learn to let go of those who will never stop being one of the above
- Feel like you could take on anything…And come out on top
- Get an insider’s view of what it feels like to be that person that everyone thinks is weird
- Be inspired to get a tattoo that means something…Even if you never get it.
- Discover the excitement of learning how to read a map properly
- Learn how to spot a driver who’s likely to respond positively to a hitchhiking thumb up
- Learn how to spot those who are in that category but should be avoided at all costs
- Have a real go at living life one day at a time.
Discover New Life Skills
- Learn how to make a fire that lasts, understand the real benefits of being able to do so, and then celebrate the lesson with strangers by getting pissed around your creation.
- Get lots of free food from strangers
- Learn to spot which kinds of people have the best food.
- Then learn not to care how “good” different types of food are. There’s nothing better than free food.
- Stand in front of trees that are centuries old
- Experience genuine and heartfelt sadness when you see a forest fire and stop to wonder how old the trees that have been killed would have been.
- Enjoy the feeling of water soaking through to your skin
- Forget the financial troubles that are waiting for you at home
- Forget direct debits and insurance premium payments that you’ve canceled because you won’t need them for some time.
- Receive no sales calls for a while, and forget what a sales call even is before long.
- Find yourself being uncharacteristically nice to the first sales person you do speak to when you get back to the real world.
- Become comfortable holding a long conversation with complete strangers
- Learn not to become defensive or concerned when said strangers seem to be acting too over familiar too quickly
- Find yourself becoming that person in later conversations with other strangers.
- Be happy when you see them learning the same lessons you did.
- Take great pleasure in being comically thrown about by the wind
- Feel the freedom of throwing yourself into a big field of crops.
- Combine crop jumping with a windy situation to maximize the fun in both.
- Become able to sleep in any situation with any background noise.
- Make a few overly grand decisions about what you want to now do with your life
- Change these decisions regularly without feeling fickle for doing so
- Feel happy for once that you have been spending money on health insurance for the past umpteen years
- Learn to truly love a thick warm coat
- Become unnaturally emotionally attached to a pair of sandals
- Fall madly in love with random plants
- Remember how great fruit tastes and eat it at every opportunity
Expand your horizons
- Meet different people from every conceivable walk of life and cultural background
- Know what it feels like to be genuinely pleased to meet someone
- Take great pleasure in knowing that they feel the same
- See many people acting like animals
- Remember that you’re animal
- Be cared about by, and truly care for strangers
- Write a poem every day, love it, forget it when you write the next day’s
- Gain a working understanding of the term “test to destruction.”
- Learn how to fix nearly anything and keep using it even when it is kaput
- Be a single woman in an environment predominantly filled by fit and happy men
- Be a single man who can do feats of manliness on a daily basis without caring whether there are women around to be impressed by it or not
- Look forward to seeing the benefits of your kid’s bonding with your other half while you are away.
- Have stories to tell your kids that will make their eyes light up and show you how proud they are of you
- Put traveling on your resume, and actually, have an original story to talk about when asked about it
- Find out what your body is capable of when pushed to the max
- Know the feeling of cool water soothing your feet as you dangle them in a stream after a day trekking in the desert
- Hallucinate without needing to use drugs
- Have perhaps the most quality time with friends and family by having them comes to join you for sections of your journey
- Set yourself the task of convincing them to take on a similar adventure
- Forget about any aspect of politics or sports outcomes for a while
- Shed yourself of the feeling of obligation to the needy people in your life
- Learn how to spot what wild food is safe to eat
- Feel relaxed eating that food
- Experience what real hunger truly is while searching for this wild food when all of your supplies have run out.
- Learn how just to enjoy moments, rather than having to punctuate them, or prove their existence with a posed photo.
- Have a once in a lifetime experience that will always be with you but only rarely give you a yearning to talk about it.
Make every moment count
If you have been on a long hike, or are considering doing one, then you’ll undoubtedly have things to add to this list. If you have yet to go on one, then read this list twice, three times even. Ask your friends who have gone on hikes what they would add. Then start planning your journey and carve out your little exploratory path in the world.
Then sit down, and start writing a list of all the reasons you think will convince others to go on their hiking adventure.