Our ultimate list with reasons why you really should go on a hiking vacation
Ever since the launch of this website, my aim is to give outdoor a more trendy image among young (Dutch) people. Somehow, it still has a bit of a dusty image here which is a bit strange. A while ago I read an article on the website of Annemerel, a very popular Dutch lifestyle blogger, with reasons why walking is the new running. I sighed with relief because to me, this seemed like a sort of turning point in the history of walking in The Netherlands. Whether that is actually true or not I don’t know, but here are my reasons, why you should definitely go on a hiking vacation at least once in your lifetime!
1. You get to experience nature like nowhere else
When typing this title I had to think of a moment we had in Yellowstone National Park, where we ended up in a traffic jam. At first we had nu clue why, but then it turned out there was a black bear next to the road. I felt incredibly sorry for the bear as he seemed to be very uncomfortable with all those people hanging out of the windows of their cars to get him on camera. Earlier that day we had been hiking and we actually ran into a bear on the trail. It was not the smartest moment ever but after making eye contact for a short while, he took off and went his own way and so did we. Up until today it remains one of the most impressive moments of all of my hiking journeys.
2. You don’t have to think about anything
I generally really enjoy arranging all my trips by myself. I’ll first book the plane tickets, then the vehicle and from there I spend hours, no days figuring out the rest of the trip. When you go hiking, it’s much more convenient to book everything in one package with an operator, rather than making all your own arrangements. You can either do this individually or while hiking with a group, the good thing about it is that you don’t have to make any arrangements on the spot anymore. All you have to do is get out and hike. Easy as that!
TIP: Find an amazing hiking vacation on Dutch website vakantieboulevard.nl – here you will find a large list of treks all around the world, from hiking in South America to a special interest trek.
3. You get to places where you otherwise would never get to
This one seems pretty obvious and I don’t think it needs any further explanation. However, I can’t help but still give you an example. Iceland would be my preferred example because this place is overloaded with tourists these days. Everyone ‘does’ Iceland for a weekend or along the way to Europe to/from the USA and Canada. When I visited Iceland for the first time ten years ago, most people never even heard of it. These days, it’s on top of everyone’s bucket list and it’s extremely crowded. On the Ringroad that is, once you get to the interior, it will be more quiet. Tomorrow I’m leaving to Iceland again, for the seventh time. Just because the rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar will be stunning nonetheless. Just because the silence and wilderness of Iceland can only be really experienced when you leave the Ringroad. Just because nothing beats bathing in a hot stream along the way when hiking. And nope, that cannot be done if you don’t move your feet!
4. You make friends for life
Hiking and pushing yourself to the limit makes up for great companionship. When walking in a small group, which we did on the Inca Trail for example, you hang out with each other for days. Sometimes you even end up telling each other things you wouldn’t even tell someone at home, you never see each other anymore anyway. In our case, we are still in touch with Cassandra whom we walked the Inca Trail with and on our recent hiking trip in Tasmania we met some amazing people we are still in touch with. Likeminded people are sometimes definitely the best to hang out with, especially when it comes to hiking!
5. This is when you really learn to push your limits
Forget training sessions with a webinar or a lifestyle coach. Forget selfhelp books and motivation quotes on Instagram. You will only really learn to push on when you actually have to do it. When I hiked the Everest Base Camp Trek last November I knew it was going to be tough. However, since I got a major food poisoning it only got worse. I had to hide behind a rock or tree every hour and run to the squatting toilet at night, for no less than seven days in a row. SEVEN! Our guide told me that it would have been OK for me to give up, but I didn’t. I just had to reach Everest Base Camp. Don’t get me wrong, I was never out of line or endangering myself, however I learned what it’s like to really push on. Not just for an hour when at the gym, but for days in a row. I literally dragged myself across the trail, not without losing myself every now and then. The giant feeling of euphoria I got when I finally reached EBC is indescribable. I tried it however, you can read it here!
Have I convinced you that you really should go on a hiking vacation one day? Grab that pack and just walk for days? Then visit Vakantieboulevard where a large portion of Dutch operators specialized in hiking vacations are listed. You will find reguar hiking vacations as well as multi day treks here.
[This article was written in cooperation with Vakantieboulevard. All opinions and experience are of course my own.]
Want to read more? You may also like these posts:
– Things nobody tells you about hiking to Everest Base Camp
– The best hikes in Colorado
– Food on multi-day treks: our tips and tricks
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Thanks for sharing!