About 4 hours in (of hard work and slush), high up in the mountains in Oaxaca Mexico, my hiking companion turned to me and said:
‘So, you really do this for fun?’
Admittedly, at that point I was also not having much fun, but I knew that afterwards I’d look back at that moment and remember it fondly. The crisp mountain air, the awe inspiring experiences we’d already had (with the promise of more to come) – I knew the hard work would become irrelevant at some point in the future.
We had a little laugh (at my expense), kept walking – and both hoped we’d be there soon. As we’d come away from the main group, and our 2 leaders didn’t speak English (or even the same language as each other), we really had no idea how much further we had (though one of them did laugh each time we pointed ahead and asked ‘soon?’).
I’ve come across this question before. And sometimes the thought does cross my mind that I should take up a less strenuous hobby (such as knitting). Another common response I get is ‘wow, that sounds amazing, but glad it’s you and not me’ when I tell (anyone who’ll listen) about hiking trips I’ve done, or those that I’m planning.
So – my question to you is – are hikers batsh@t crazy?
Some of us may very well be…but I also think that we’re onto something pretty special.
You know when you’ve been trudging away for what seems like forever, lungs working hard, and legs burning – then you reach the summit? You’re suddenly above the tree line, the trail opens up…and all around you are other mountains and clear blue skies?
Or when you camp overnight (at a spot that you can only reach by hiking in), and at first light you peer out of the tent door and are surrounded by breath taking scenery? (that you don’t have to share with anyone else)
Yeah – those moments are the ones that we crave, that we plan ahead and prepare for. Ones that we become addicted to.
And if this makes us crazy….well, I’ll happily get called that if it means I can keep having these experiences.
Bio: Sam is a daydreamer, storyteller, and hiker. She loves getting outside, and you’ll often find her on the bushwalking trails close to her hometown of Geelong. You can follow along with her on Facebook and Instagram.