Most of us go away on vacation to relax and enjoy the break from our daily lives. Many people see us hiking around the world on challenging trails and wonder why we do that. The short answer is that we love to relax and unwind on vacation, and we do that best in the mountains- hiking.
And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. – Unknown
Most vacations for us at RoarLoud involve a challenging hike at some point during our trip. For a little deeper look into why we hike, here are 5 reasons we hike on vacation.
1. Views for miles
Visiting a new country, we love to see all we can. What better way to see everything, than to climb to the highest point and see the area around us? The views from summits are unlike anywhere else, and leaves you with a greater appreciation for the beauty around you. On Pico Mountain in the Azores, we were able to see nearby Sao Jorge and most of Pico Island. Sure we could get this view in the air, but helicopter rides have never been in our budget. On our trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro, we saw the local flora from several different climate zones, exotic creatures, and even unique geology. The summit of Kilimanjaro also offered the life-changing experience of seeing the sun rise over the curvature of the earth! Hiking provides a deep connection to Earth’s natural beauty and affords you the opportunity to see things from a perspective that will leave you inspired.
2. Challenging ourselves
Frank and I do like lounging in a hammock and spending some time on the beach. After half a day of that, we get restless and want to be active. We both like to challenge ourselves physically. Seeking out the highest peak on our trips has become a fun way to find a challenge. We both started out hiking small and have built up to longer hikes. Seeing how much your body is capable of has been empowering for both of us.
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. When you go to the mountains, you see them and you admire them. In a sense, they give you a challenge, and you try to express that challenge by climbing them. – Edmund Hillary
3. Staying Fit
At home, we try to maintain an exercise routine so that we can do big hikes on our time off. Sure we could take a week off from exercising but we’ll pay for that the next hike, kayak or activity we attempt. When we are in shape, the activity is more enjoyable with less huffing and puffing.
4. Away from the Tourists
Sure some people hike but it is rare we have a crowd on the summit. Getting away from the tourist spots where bus loads pull up is really nice. Knowing that we have a more exclusive view is great and we appreciate it on each summit. Mt. Kilimanjaro was one hike that we had some crowds, it is one of the tourist attractions in Tanzania. Even with many others on the trail, we were able to find some more quiet places and special moments.
5. All about the Food!
On our trips, we love trying the local foods, especially desserts! We often have treated ourselves to nice restaurants with amazing meals. After a calorie-burning hike, we feel less guilty having a dessert or two!
There are some moments on hikes that we wonder why we push ourselves. In the end, it is always worth it. Having 5 reasons we hike on vacation is enough to keep us hiking on every trip we can. Hiking may not be for everyone, and we know that. Do you do something on your trips that other people don’t understand?
As a follow up to this article I asked travelers what hiking gives back to them, see their inspiring answers here!
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