I was a major nerd in school. What am I saying; I still am a nerd! 🙂 But I was a bonafide bookworm all through junior high and high school. I read everything, from Nancy Drew to cheesy historical romances, to Dostoyevsky, to daily newspapers, to sci-fi. I particularly loved reading fantasy novels, and almost exclusively read fiction.
In college I continued to read, but textbook reading tended to take precedence over reading for pleasure. Then when I got out of school, I gave into the trend of reading non-fiction to “better” myself. Nothing wrong with that, but there’s this idea that non-fiction is somehow fiction is a “waste of time” because it’s purely for entertainment, rather than non-fiction which is for educational purposes (like, cooking for instance ;)).
My world was pretty small and boring, but when I read a book, I suddenly escaped to a world of possibilities. I loved nothing better than to escape into a world filled with adventure, where anything could happen.
I love hiking for the same reason. When I was a kid, I found adventures through reading. Then when I discovered hiking (regretfully at the ripe old age of 23), I discovered that I could have adventures in my own life too! I could venture into the unknown, face grueling challenges, and–literally–reach new vistas. This is also the reason I fell in love with martial arts, and rock climbing. To me they are all related.
Writers who dare to dream up a new world have that same sparkle in their eyes as a hiker surveying a new trail to explore. Climbers who tackle a rock crag with 100% focus have the same electric charge radiating from them as a martial artist who is totally engrossed by the form they’re practicing.
Many of our lives are pretty cushy; I know mine is. It’s easy to get lulled into complacency, just going with the flow out of fear or laziness. Hiking keeps the laziness at bay for me.
Life is a great adventure. So put on your hiking boots, or dust off that book you’ve been meaning to read, and join me in discovering some new horizons to explore!
ps – If interested, check out my e-book Easy Hiking Recipes: Simple Meal Ideas for Day Hikes and Other Outdoor Adventures!