Typically hiking is a favourite pass time for those who enjoy exploring nature. It’s an ideal escape where all your problems don’t seem to matter. In the following points I break down the upside and downside of exploring from my experiences.
Great exercise. While basking in all the greatness of Mother Nature you also get to lose a few lbs. The intense cardio work out is more than worth it!
Relax, the return is easier. When you have arrived at your destination free up yourself and enjoy the moment, you’ve done the hard part. The return trip is usually easier given that its mostly downhill however the comfort in knowing that you reached your destination also puts you at ease which leads me to my other point.
Gratification. It’s always a fulfilling and humbling feeling when you’ve reached your destination that gives you a clearer perspective on life; whether its a waterfall or the top of a mountain with a spectacular view.
Be Safe. Before you set off on your adventure it’s mandatory to find out about any potential threats: poisonous snakes, predators. Thankfully I live on an island where there are neither. The animals I usually cross paths with are harmless (dogs, goats, sheep) and they are more afraid of you than you are of them.
Insects. When you’re surrounded by bush and rivers are present be confident in the fact that you will be bombarded by mosquitoes and sand flies. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is a vector for transmitting several viruses which include Zika which we recently had an outbreak of. I am grateful I did not contract it given that I have been doing a lot of exploring recently. P.S Insect repellents are becoming obsolete!
Being out of shape. I can attest first hand to the difficulties in being a soul adventurer while being grossly out of shape especially when you don’t hike every week. The after effects can be extremely painful lasting several days. You don’t usually feel it right away but when you get up the next morning it feels likes ten cars ran you over!
Balance. Chasing waterfalls is a passion of mine and sometimes you have to cross or follow the path of the river which means jumping river stones. Something that requires good balance. This so happens to be a task that I find little joy in performing. The thought of falling has a somewhat paralyzing effect on me and so I move as slow as a snail, and offers as amusement for my friends. I’m a work in progress!
When the topography of the area you’re exploring is mostly mountainous (like Grenada aka Isle of Spice) the trail can be very intense. Sometimes you have to get dirty, be on all fours and subject yourself to the squashy feel of mud between your toes. It’s all in the spirit of being one with nature!