Once upon a time I was a non-hiker, yes, really, I did not see the point of wandering around aimlessly in the wild for hours on end only to be exhausted, hungry and probably riddled with blisters at the end of it. A trip to Bright and a short hike up Mt Buffalo to watch the sunset changed all that.
I was hooked, the beautiful vistas, the fresh air, the exercise, it was invigorating. I could understand now why some people choose to spend their weekends “wandering around aimlessly in the wilderness”. It’s beautiful, it’s peaceful and it’s an adventure.
: where to next?
Anyone can go for a hike, you don’t have to be super fit to do it, you can go at your own pace, for however long you want to walk and in any weather condition. It's fun and it's free (mostly, not counting the gear you have to get if you decide to go for longer then day hikes).
I think I’m quite lucky living in Australia; there are many beautiful hikes around not far from the major cities (sometimes only an half hour drive away). So I now find myself a member of a group of “weekend wanderers”, traipsing around the country side looking for places to explore and possibly have a picnic. What makes it even more fun is Geocaching but more on that later.
The thing about hiking is that it can also be done in any type of weather; you just need to have the right gear. I’d definitely suggest a good pair of water proof hiking boots and a phone with GPS to plan and track your hike.
If you are a newbie, join a local hiking group, there are surprisingly many out there who organise weekly hikes for different skill levels. What better way to get some exercise? Rather than pounding the pavement, or struggling on the same old equipment at the gym, hiking is one of the better ways to get fit and healthy; you get fresh air, exercise that doesn't get boring (no two hikes are the same) and better yet, it’s free!
So why not try it? Take it from someone who used to frown at the mere mention of a hike, try it. Start with short walks and build up from there. There is another world out there to explore!