When I step outside the first thing I do is take in a deep breath; feel, sense and smell the nature around me. I incessantly have the urge to rub the scent of plants and herbs into my hand like an exotic perfume, always, every time, especially when I pass by Lavender – Rosemary – Sage…you name it.
However, I live in the city, so it’s generally a boulevard along a residential street or the front garden of the quintessential perfectly cozy home. Yet it always sparks that continual restlessness within me. A need to walk through a forest with a dirt path underneath my feet, the feel and sound of the earth – it keeps me grounded, yet puts everything into perspective.
That same city with all those residential streets and boulevards momentarily and cognitively vanish while I live in the current moment of this wonderous natural nirvana that now surrounds me.
I know others have this same pull towards getting back to nature. I mean it’s evolutionary and innate within us – Darwin and his Natural Selection come to mind – in order to survive, one must know and understand the intricacies of how our world works – like a finely tuned grandfather clock?
The need for hiking, and the need to walk for miles along a path, trail, or even a river during rain or shine; literally submerging myself in nature will hold me captive for the next few hours. ~
This is hiking. This is something I love and I need to consciously make an effort to do more of.
I’ve composed a list of some pretty good reasons to fit hiking into your next trip! Whether it’s local or abroad, the benefits of that pure fresh air in the middle of your tropical beach vacation, or city shopping hiatus outweighs mine and your shopping bags or beach chairs by at least double I’d say ; )
1. Get a Sense of the Real Country that you’re Visiting
Culture is, rightly so, the pinnacle of the planned vacation and authentic cultural food is sitting right along side Of that pinnacle. And it is an important part of the planned vacation however what better way to ensconce yourself within it’s nature , to experience your destination without the markets, shops and restaurants just for one day? What better air to breathe than the forest and nature of this beautiful place you’re visiting.
2. Feel Accomplished
Earn that lazy day by the pool, or your hectic days roaming the city. The exercise alone will leave you feeling rejuvenated, perhaps better than a spa even! That sense of accomplishment will fuel your rejuvenated soul for the rest of your vacation – I can’t think of a better way to totally feel immersed within your destination, and to have you ready for your next wonderful day.
3. Find Hidden Gems Within.
‘Off the Beaten Track’ is a well earned phrase and motto for the die-hard nomadic traveler. And why can’t we also enjoy our holidays ‘off the beaten track’? Imagine the stories and memories formed when you find Howling Monkeys or multicoloured birds in Costa Rica, or natural banana trees growing in the wild within the island of Oahu or Maui, rolling hills and greenery for miles within the countryside of Cuba or New Zealand.
4. Find a New Version of Yourself Within Those Trails
Perhaps there is a part of yourself that hasn’t yet been discovered. I learned relatively later in life how much I love to hike, whether it’s in an exotic location, or various trails within the natural wild surrounding my own city. And I have to tell you that once I found this new version of myself, I never lost it. It remains alive and well, the need to feel the earth under my hiking boots is real. And now I plan my trips around not only cafe’s and markets, but also the natural surroundings that sometimes take a side seat to those beautiful beaches and quaint local markets…
Maybe you’ll even start planning your trips around a day on a lesser known trail… somewhere on the outskirts, somewhere out of your comfort zone.
Maybe I’ll even see you on one of those trails! But of course… Never forget to bring your water, bug spray and maybe even a latte…