The following is guest post by writer and Tripper Michael of Easy Hiker. With his deep sense of irony, Michael takes on some of the common stereotypes about hiking….
1. Hiking is hard work
I abhor physical and, indeed, challenges of any other kind. If it weren’t for the kids, I would gladly spend my holidays on the sofa, watching old episodes of classcic tv shows like Happy Days. Ah, the Fonz! They don’t make ‘em like that anymore, you know.
2. Hiking exposes you to the elements
Wind, sunshine, rain: what’s so great about that? Personally, I like to experience the world from inside air-conditioned spaces. The world, after all, is a messy place and best kept at an arm’s distance.
A good holiday is something like what we did in Paris last year. We slept in an American hotel, ate in a steak restaurant every evening and, on our City Tour, never left the bus once. And why should we? I mean: would the Eiffel Tower have looked any different if we had approached it on foot instead?
3. Hiking holidays are dangerously unpredictable
Just think of all the things that can go wrong! Once you are out of your comfort zone, literally anything can happen – and then what? I, for one, like my holidays to go like clockwork.
A vacation is a sequence of events that, ideally, I can tick off a list: visit an old church (tick), build a sandcastle on the beach (tick), have a romantic candlelight diner (tick).
Come to think of it, a good holiday is a lot like a good day in the office. Surprises and the unforeseen only spoil the fun.
4. Hiking is for hippies
Let’s say you do go hiking in your holidays: what are you going to tell your friends and neighbours? They will only think you haven’t got the money to take your family anywhere decent.
And what pictures are you going to show to everybody back home in the office: pictures of you in front of a tree? They will think you’ve gone mad. The guy in the cubicle next to mine took his family to Disneyworld last year, and to prove it, he has put up a photo of him shaking the hand of Goofy. Now that’s what I call a holiday experience.
5. I have never done it before
Why try something I have never tried before? All the problems in the world have started with people trying out something new. Enough of that, I say.
What are some of the stereotypes you’ve encountered related to hiking?
Michael Schuermann aka Easy Hiker is a German born Tripper who started traveling from age 7 but discovered hiking only in his late 40s. He’s been a journalist in London and Paris since the mid 1980s first for the BBC World Service and as a sportscaster for a string of TV stations. He is the author of the guidebook – Paris Movie Walks-10 Guided Walking Tours in the City of Lights! Camera! Action!
Connect with Michael via his Tripping Profile.