5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation

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.

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation
On Kilimanjaro every day was new and beautiful plants!

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

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation

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.

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation
Gros Piton on St. Lucia was a hot humid day for a hike but worth it for views like this!

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 Reasons We Hike on Vacation

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation

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!

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation

5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation
Amazing dessert from Mountain View Grand, NH. Served with maple bacon ice cream no less!

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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5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation


Travel Notes & Beyond

Want to join WeekendWanderlust?- head to Justin and Lauren’s great blog about Iceland and follow the directions at the bottom!

About Cathy

Cathy (aka “Wildcat”) is not your typical travel/adventurer. Whether it is traveling across the globe or exploring her beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire, this mother of 4’s curious nature has led her to find adventure everywhere she goes. Her blog RoarLoud.net was first started to chronicle the training and journey to the “Rooftop of Africa” – Mt. Kilimanjaro. Since that time, RoarLoud.net has expanded to highlight everything connected with the unique and fascinating adventures a Wildcat can find. She shares with her readers tips, advice, and encouragement to find their strength and inner “ROAR”.
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47 Comment

  1. Yes…totally cosign on getting away from the crowds. I love hiking. It can be such a refreshing experience!
    Renne Simpson recently posted…It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere – Peruvian Pisco Sour RecipeMy Profile

    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting! The mountains are calling to me right now!:)

  2. First off, congratulations on reaching the summit of Kili!! Not everyone can do it due to altitude sickness etc but what an achievement for you!!

    I really enjoyed this post – it made me think about things I hadn’t considered before!! I definitely need to consider more hiking in the future – I have hiking boots I take with me, I eat and drink far too much when I’m away so I should get out and explore a lot more! Thank you for helping me see the light!

    1. Thank you so much:) I am grateful for every summit, Kili was a life changer though! Cheers to hiking and roars to you!

  3. Great article. I hardly exercise at home but I do enjoy a good hike. I always wish I had kept in better shape when I’m halfway up a slope, huffing and puffing (as you say). The views make it all worth it though! 🙂 I’m not sure I’ll ever attempt Kilimanjaro in my lifetime but kudos to you for doing that! Ever thought about Everest?
    Michelle | michwanderlust recently posted…Pompeii: A Peek into 1st Century Roman LifeMy Profile

    1. Thank you:) I would go to base camp of Everest but that is it- I wouldn’t take that big of a risk for a hike. I have my eyes on Machu Picchu and some hiking in Patagonia. My wish list never ends:)

  4. Yes! I like your point about slowly experiencing a place and its ecosystems as you climb. But I LOVE your point about avoiding crowds. While some routes can be very popular, there are plenty of lesser known hikes where you can be blissfully alone!
    Lauren Bishop recently posted…Adventures in Roasting Coffee in LaosMy Profile

    1. Blissfully alone is the way I like it on my hikes!:)

  5. Machu Picchu and Patagonia look amazing and are both on my wishlist too. Look forward to reading about your adventures there! 😉

  6. We cycle on trips for many of the same reasons.
    Lyn aka TheTravellingLindfields recently posted…Shamwari Game Reserve – and the fastest animal on the planet!My Profile

    1. I definitely want to add more biking to my travels! Looking forward to checking out your blog:)

  7. We agree, we love hiking while traveling. It certainly is a great way to break away from the crowds and challenge ourselves. We always gain a personal sense of accomplishment and typically get stunning views along the way!
    Amanda – EatWorkTravel recently posted…Pros & Cons: Alto Atacama in ChileMy Profile

    1. Nice to hear I’m not the only traveller that likes hiking too:)

  8. anto says: Reply

    I love this post because basically, I love hiking and thus I can relate to all the reasons you mentioned. Hiking is my way to get away from all the stress at home and work and I love being out, breathing in fresh air and getting that amazing after glow when your cheeks are blushing after a day outside …

    1. Thank you:) I want to go for a hike right now after your description! I do love the color hiking puts on my cheeks- better than any makeup!

  9. I love to hike for the exercise as well as so that I can splurge on some great meals on my trips. It is also amazing when you can walk up a mountain and have the view over the city.

    1. Thanks for stopping by John, the meals after are always great!

  10. Marta says: Reply

    I love hiking and used to always go on hiking holidays when growing up. Unfortunately, I have done less of them in the last few years and when started again, I discovered I am now afraid of heights! I hope it’s something I can conquer though: all your reasons to hike on holiday used to be my reasons and I want to be able to enjoy all of this again
    Marta recently posted…5 things your kids will love about MadridMy Profile

    1. Marta I’m sure if you ease into it you will be able to face your fear and overcome it!:)

  11. carlie says: Reply

    These are all great reasons to hike while traveling. For me, I choose to hike while traveling because I’m never really able to do it otherwise. After working long hours during the week I’m usually too exhausted to hike in the evenings or even on the weekends. I find that by day 2 of my trip I’m rested and ready to hit the trail.

    1. I love it! Thanks for a new reason Carlie!!

  12. We had a brief touchdown in Kilimanjaro airport, en route to Zanzibar, and the skyline was incredible. We can’t wait to go back. Thanks for the inspirational post! Will definitely be hitting up some trails soon!

    1. I’d love to go to Zanibar, wish we had time while in Tanzania! Glad to hear I’ve inspired you to hit the trails.

  13. The very same reasons I hike! Getting away from the crowds when is my number 1 reason but even if the crowds are there in Kiliminjaro, I still want to hike that mountain 🙂

    1. Adonis the scenery is incredible and despite the crowds I did feel it was a wonderful hike! It was life changing- I hope you get to go!

  14. Ahila says: Reply

    I get your reasons for hiking on vacation. I guess I would do the same if I didn’t have leg issues. As it is, I try to take a cable car up a hill for the view, wherever possible. Keep up your hiking spirit! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Heading up a cable car for views is a good alternative! Cheers to you and travel!

  15. Anda says: Reply

    We don’t miss many hiking opportunities either when we travel. However, I don’t like very challenging hikes. We’ve been on a couple of pretty dangerous ones and it wasn’t fun at all (at least not for me!) Thanks for joining us for #TheWeeklyPostcard.
    Anda recently posted…The Weekly Postcard: Château de Chaumont-sur-LoireMy Profile

    1. Hi Anda, Thank you for the opportunity to be part of #TheWeeklyPostcard- so many great blogs to read! I do like adventure so some danger is fun- I’d love to hear about your dangerous ones:)

  16. Great photos, and all good reasons to get out and hike. I especially love getting away from the crowds and exploring nature.
    Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute recently posted…Experiencing Eastern EuropeMy Profile

    1. Jim, nature really is amazing. Glad to hear so many travelers love to hike too!

  17. Anisa says: Reply

    I love hiking too. My most challenging one was Breakneck Ridge in the Hudson Valley. There were times I didn’t think we would make it, but when we did, t was really a great feeling of accomplishment.

    1. Those are my favorite kind of hikes, pushing myself and the sense of accomplishment after!:)

  18. Andra says: Reply

    Given that me and my husband are also huge fans of hiking and trekking I can totally relate to your point of view. I could actually add one more reason – and that is getting closer. I feel that when we are together and struggling to conquer a mountain, to finish a hike or just to reach a certain point we somehow grow closer to each other. So yes, hiking in vacations is certainly a must-do 🙂

    1. It is a bonding experience for sure! Thanks for your addition to the list:)

  19. Great to hear more about why you travel and your passion for hiking. I go hiking but I can’t say I have a particular passion for it. I love great views and that is normally my reason for hiking but it is also great for staying in shape! ~ Jessica
    Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats recently posted…12 Things to do in Marrakesh MoroccoMy Profile

    1. Thanks, I’m definitely a hiking addict:)

  20. […] love hiking! We hike on vacation and when we are at home. Hiking is so much more than just exercise for us though. I realized that […]

  21. Excellent post! My husband and I have just started hiking while on holiday. I also love that you don’t need to bring much equipment to get up and go!

    1. It is the best! What has been your favorite so far?

  22. […] Inspiration on why we hike on vacation […]

  23. […] 5 Reasons We Hike on Vacation […]

  24. Adam says: Reply

    Wow – those are beautiful hiking photos! I was in St Lucia last year, but didn’t hike up the Gros Piton… would love to go back and do it again!

    1. It is a beautiful hike, it was great to see nearby islands and wonderful views.

  25. All great reasons to hike, especially the dessert-eating one. 🙂 Since I live in a big city, I also like hiking because it reconnects me with nature, away from city noises, concrete, and pollution.

    1. Getting connected with nature is incredible, so good for you on many levels. Thanks for sharing why you love to hike!

  26. […] the end of the day after mural hunting we would walk 9 miles.  Don’t get me wrong, we love getting exercise especially when indulging in local treats!  The center of MURAL Festival is Saint Laurent […]

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