Hiking has been a big part of my life, especially in the last 5 years or so. I love being outside and the way that I have bonded with so many people through hiking. It’s a great way to exercise, to connect with the earth, to spend time with your loved ones and to understand yourself. I just thought I would share TEN LESSONS I’ve learned from hiking over the years.
⋙ Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
It can be easy to compare yourself to hikers flying past you, but the thing is we’re all on our own journey and you can’t compare yours to anyone else’s. I can be quite competitive and I used to try to catch people in front of me until I reminded myself that hiking isn’t a race- it’s about taking the time to truly enjoy where you are with whoever you’re there with.
⋙ It’s Important to Unplug
A lot of time nature does this for us because there’s no service, but in those rare occasions that you get service, stay off your phone. It’s so worth it to take the time to be present in that moment. I like to only use my camera when I’m out in nature.
⋙ The World is Beautiful & Can Change with Each Step
Nothing has ever made me appreciate this beautiful world like going out into nature. I love putting on my hiking boots and taking off for hours or days at a time because nothing compares to it. Plus, you never know what you’re going to find with each passing step: an animal you’ve never seen, a view you missed before, a rock formation, etc. We truly live in a world that’s covered in some of the most diverse landscapes.
⋙ Fresh Air Does the Soul Good
Fresh air isn’t only good for your lungs. There’s nothing like nature when it comes to freeing my mind and spirit. I love being out in open spaces, feeling dwarfed by mountains, discovering new locations and reminding myself of what it means to me to explore.
⋙ An Understanding of Why the Earth is Worth Caring For
I feel like a lot of people who don’t care about the Earth are the people who don’t take the time to go out and explore it. Nothing gave value to nature, national parks, mountains, rivers, trees & everything else I’ve seen than actually getting outside and experiencing it.
⋙ Nothing You Could Ever See on TV Compares to Views Outside
I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as the views I’ve had hiking. Taking in the nature surrounding me, spending time with whoever I’m hiking with, or having quality me-time among the trees, nothing compares to this view!
⋙ It’s Okay to Stop and Catch Your Breath
Part of this goes back to not comparing yourself to others. It’s perfectly fine to have to pace yourself differently. Plus, when you stop to catch your breath you can take the time to be present in that moment.
⋙ Going Slow Can Pay Off
When you’re going slower you have the chance see some pretty special things that you might have missed otherwise. For example, when I was on the Inca Trail I saw Andean deer and lagoons that several other people missed because they were trying to race to the camp.
⋙ Getting Lost Can Sometimes Be the Best Part
Obviously, you want to be safe, but sometimes not knowing exactly where you are or where you’re going can be one of the most freeing experiences. Plus, there’s always a sense of accomplishment when you find your way again. So, go out there and get lost in nature and in yourself.
⋙ There’s No Use in Complaining
Hiking isn’t always the most comfortable thing in the world, but with a little bit of discomfort comes one of the most beautiful things in the world! Plus, things are uncomfortable in your everyday life and complaining never ever makes it any better. Remember where you are, enjoy it and love every moment.
What are lessons that you’ve learned hiking? What while about traveling in general? What parts of travel have taught you the most?
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