I know this is something that may not appeal to everyone, or be their first choice of holiday, but a walking holiday is something I have wanted to do for a while. Yes, I love my beach holidays but walking is actually so therapeutic and relaxing!
When you’re visiting world-renowned cultural cities in the conventional way you know pretty much what the score is. You’re there to see the landmarks, maybe pick up a couple of postcards, and try the local cuisine (always top of my list!).
But what if, instead, you spend a week or more trekking over field and fen, in order not so much to land at a particular endpoint, but just to experience a whole new place?
These kinds of prolonged walking trips have been around forever, and still today you can find large numbers of people annually travelling across southern Europe along the Camino pilgrimage routes to Santiago De Compostela in Spain and Lourdes in France. And many of those travellers have no particular religious motive for the trip. I for one would not consider myself religious but would absolutely love to do the Camino.
We are all used to having our smartphones, and GPS devices with this us all times these days. But here are a few low tech things that you should consider taking with you on your walking holiday.
An old-fashioned map
How far is it from Land’s End to John O’Groats? Well, if you’re one of the bold souls who is committed to doing the walk, you’re going to want to know exactly how far it is at any given point along the way.
No doubt, you will have a GPS with you for the trip. But what happens if and when it fails?
An old-fashioned laminated map (a series of maps, actually) is considered a must-have for any long walking trip. Reading a map may not be super convenient, but it’s a lot better than being completely stranded. Although, if like me you have no sense of direction, not even a map is going to help a situation where you find yourself lost…
A notebook and pen, and some reading material
A long walking holiday presents an great opportunity for getting lost in your own thoughts, and having a more introspective experience than you might on an ordinary trip.
One of the best ways to really preserve your memories from the trip, and to get the most out of the whole experience, is to take a notebook and pen with you, and do a bit of scribbling every day.
It’s also a great idea to take some paperback reading material with you, since the pace of life will naturally slow down a bit on one of these trips.
A travelling companion
There can definitely be benefits to doing a long walking holiday alone, but generally speaking, you’re going to have a better time if you take a travelling companion with you.When you’re travelling with someone else, you’re not only safer on the road, but can also relax a bit more and enjoy some light-hearted conversation.
*This is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own.