Posts tagged anxiety
Seven Crucial Questions for All Who Dream of Hiking Solo!

Do you toy with the thought of going hiking just by yourself, all alone?

I hike solo. When I started, there wasn't much thought process put into it, to me it was obvious it's the style for me. I'm a loner, an introvert struggling with social anxiety, and I find being alone very rewarding. It helps with my anxiety, brings relaxation and simple happiness. Hiking solo gives me also a great boost to my confidence and pride of own accomplishments.

A lot of people find trekking solo as equally rewarding – although it’s different for each person. But even extroverts find the experience worth the effort. In our times, when we are surrounded by people almost all the time, it is good to be one-on-one with Nature and listen only to the sounds of wind, birds, and waterfalls every once in a while, am I right?

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Hiking Solo in Ireland: Blackwater | Avondhu Way from Clogheen to Mallow

The Avondhu/Blackwater Way. The whole trail takes one from Clogheen to Bweeng (awesome name, kept saying "bling" in my head) in 94 km. From Bweeng one can naturally continue on the Duhallow Way (Avondhu together with Duhallow make the Blackwater Way) through Millstreet to Shrone. The combined trails are 168 km and are also part of the European E8 long-distance trail.

Ireland was such an excellent choice for my big summer trip. I was happy to escape the heat waves plaguing continental Europe. The rugged landscapes of far west coastal walks filled my heart with bliss and the memory card with hundreds of photos (OK, fine, five thousand to be exact). I enjoyed hiking solo on mostly deserted trails, wild camping in a few places, and talking to the very positive locals. As I mostly walk during my trips, I can't see much at once. From the big Irish island, I only saw West Cork and some bits of southern Kerry. I hope to see more another time.

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Baby Steps to Hiking My Own Hike. What's so Hard?

I’m sure we all have teachings we fully agree with in theory but have troubles with implementing them in real life, right?

The Hike Your Own Hike saying is pretty standard in the hiking world. We kind of all agree with it, but it seems I have a problem to internalize it and walk the talk.

Struggling to hike my own hike

When we add to it the tendency of some people (like myself) to harshly judge oneself in comparison to others, the infamous impostor syndrome many people (women especially) suffer from, we see why it’s so hard to really, truly, hike our own hike and let others hike their own hike.

I talk and write a lot about self-acceptance not because I’m such a brilliant champion of that but precisely because I struggle with it and need a constant reminder that I should accept my self (my body) just the way it is.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: From Vaqueiros to Barranco do Velho

My solo hiking adventure on the Via Algarviana trail in Portugal continues! Here comes the second part: from Vaqueiros, through Cachopo and Feiteras all the way to Barranco do Velho. 55 km through stunning mountains and tiny villages, challenging trail with stunning landscapes, with added problem of a … dog who wanted to take a long hike.

I woke up to a very cloudy and chilly day in Vaqueiros. I had my breakfast waiting in the restaurant down the street, so I packed almost wholly and walked to see what they had for me.

The day before I explained my diet issues and showed a card in Portuguese on a gluten-free diet. It's not very popular around here, and I am happy I had that card.

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Are You Sure You Can Call Yourself a “Hiker”?

So you would like to call yourself a "hiker" but do you have the right to do so? Are you doing all that is required to be able to call yourself that? Not everyone has earned the right to talk about themselves as a hiker or trekker. Like with everything else, there are limitations and requirements one need to fulfill to have the right to use a particular term.

To make it easier for you, I have created a checklist.

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Why I Do What I Do: On Hiking Solo & Taking Selfies

Why do I go alone into the Mountains? And what’s the deal with all these selfies?

I can’t help the smile. It doesn’t matter that I’m puffing, I am sweating, and there is some aching in my knees. The smile is there. It’s probably not even visible all that much to passing me hikers (although I always try to smile nicely to all hikers me on trails) but I feel it. I sense the smile.

And it’s a different kind of a smile than the one I give a colleague at work in the morning or after hearing a cute joke. This one is different, it radiates from a different place, somewhere deep inside. It’s a bit like when we fall in love, the smile we can’t stop after remembering the cute moment a day before.

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9 Sure Ways to Conquer Your Hiking Anxiety

A lot of women who would like to go hiking, don’t do it because of fear. Sometimes it’s even hard to identify what exactly it is that scares them off - it’s just the generalized fear of Nature, hiking or camping solo or the unknown.

There is this anecdote asking how can a person lift a huge rock? The answer is: by breaking it into much smaller pieces and lifting each one separately, step by step. Same is with fear: when it’s unidentified, generalized fear of an idea, it’s hard to do anything about it, it’s paralyzing. But when you are able to name the particular source of anxiety, there is a chance we can work around it or with it.

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Pros and Cons of Hiking Solo

What does it really mean that you are alone? 

Before you head off to your first solo adventure, it's worth going through some pros and cons. I love hiking solo and am a big supporter of the idea. But it's best to be prepared and know what you are getting yourself into. Below are various possible cons and pros - they don't work that way for all but read them all to see if hiking solo is for you!

In the typical case of "good and bad news" I start with the cons:

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Hiking & Camping Etiquette or How NOT to Be an A*hole on the Trail

We leave our urban shelters and go in the Nature to find beauty, peacefulness and clear air. It’s utterly annoying when inconsiderate and selfish folks ruin the experience for others.

Do you want to know what the hiking etiquette is to not be “that obnoxious hiker” people talk about when they are back from the trail? Read on!

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7 Tips for Your First Solo Hike

As many of you know already, I love hiking solo.

I find it tremendously rewarding on many levels. It helps with my anxiety, brings relaxation and simple happiness. Hiking solo gives me also a great boost to my confidence and pride of own accomplishments.

A lot of people find trekking solo as equally rewarding – although it’s different for each person. But even extroverts find the experience worth the effort.

Read More