This past week has seen me hike alone, and also share one of my favourite walks with a special someone. Which got me thinking – is it better to go hiking alone, or with other people?
Only when I’m alone can I really clear my head. If I have a decision to make, or have had a tough day (or week!) I love nothing more than hitting the hiking trails, breathing the fresh air and connecting with nature. It’s then that my focus is on enjoying myself, and the challenges that the trail brings. Also, when I’m alone is when I feel the creativity flowing. Most times I get back to the car and quickly add some notes to my phone before I forget all the great ideas I’ve had. My head is clear, which is perfect for the ideas to flow in. Also – within my home, in my workplace, or within my family/friendship group I spend a lot of time putting other people first, so I relish the fact that I’m doing something that’s just for me. I’m convinced it makes me a better parent/worker/friend.
Going with other people falls into 2 categories: People you know, and people you don’t know.
When I go bushwalking with other people (that I already know) my focus shifts to catching up with them, and sharing the experience. We’re away from outside distractions, so we can chat (without interruptions), and really connect. Differing work schedules, distance, and basically just ‘normal’ modern life all mean that catching up with friends can sometimes be tough – so this time is precious. There’s also someone to laugh with, to complain about the hills with, then share the wins with later.
Going with a group of people that you haven’t met before (or don’t know well) is a great way to meet and connect with new people, and try hiking trails that you might not have thought about otherwise. It can be a bit nerve wracking to begin with (if you’re an introvert like me), but conversation usually flows quite easily, as you all share a love of hiking.
So – which one is better? I’m going to remain on the fence with this one. I love aspects of hiking alone, and also hiking with other people – and will continue to enjoy a mixture of both!
What about you? Do you prefer to hike alone, or with other people?
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, Instagram and YouTube.