top of page

WHY I HIKE

Updated: Mar 3, 2022


I love hiking.

Why do I like it? Why do I hike?


I have never asked these questions to myself. What is the definition of "like" anyway? Do I have to hike five times in a month to "like" hiking? I have no ideas. However, One thing i am certain is that I feel happy after this act of hike or consuming medias about hiking no matter where, no matter when.


I am writing this blog to analyze myself and find out why I am so attracted to hiking by detaching from myself.



HIKING IS THE PERFECT ACTIVITY TO GET INTO THE "FLOW" STATE.


Flow is a state of mind in which a person becomes fully immersed in an activity. Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes flow as a state of complete immersion in an activity.


You should have experienced time passing so fast while focusing on an activity. This flow state is not only productive but also linked to increased levels of happiness.


The flow requires some conditions but it turns out that hiking is the perfect activity for me. The reasons why I think hiking is the perfect activity to get into flow are...


Hiking is

  1. a repetitive action of something not too easy but not too challenging.

  2. a continuous activity that lasts more than 30 min.

  3. an activity that is free from any loud noise (distraction).

If I flip this theory, I can't get into flow while hiking if I am missing any of these three. For example, when I am hiking with friends while talking with them or hiking on a crowded trail. Don't get me wrong. I like hiking with friends. It just has different charms.


Also, when I think about the activities I like, I noticed that being able to get into flow is something in common in these activities such as running or reading.



HIKING IS THE BEST ACTIVITY TO FEEL/SEE THE PROGRESS.


I didn't know how fun self-analysis could be.

After some time of self-analysis, I realized that one of the important things which bring me joy is "growth". Learning something new or acquiring a new skill, I guess I always liked this as I loved an RPG video game where my avatar got stronger and learned new magic etc... So fun !!


I also notice that a lot of people including myself confuse happiness with an adrenaline rush when we talk about happiness. In my case, I thought watching marvel movies or comedies or spending time on Instagram are "happiness" but they are actually just adrenaline rushes cuz they are not permanent.


I truly believe that hiking is the best and simplest way to see progress.


Yes, I am sure that you feel your own growth by solving difficult math assignments or learning to code etc but these aren't simple and sometimes require tools.

Most people can start hiking no matter where they are without pretty much anything.

You just have to keep walking.


Literally, you can see if you are moving forward or not. Every single step is a clear indication of your progress.

I am fond of using a hiking app to check where I am while hiking. This also explains why I am motivated by the progress.


I also noticed a funny thing.

I actually don't really mind even if there are no views from the summit. Still, I would be happy to hike. Of course, stunning views give me goosebumps all the time and make me happy, but I am not the type of person who stays at the top for a long time.



LOVE THE SMELL, SOUND AND COLOR OF FORESTS AND MOUNTAINS.


This is something unconscious so not too sure how accurate my analysis is but this explains why I like consuming outdoor-related media.

My guess is that the human body is designed to give rewards in the form of happy hormones by being outside.


Bird whistling, the sound of crunching leaves and swaying trees in the wind.

If you are still unsure whether you like these sounds or not, watch this Hipcamp video. Make sure to wear earphones. *Hipcamp is an American startup. In the nutshell, it's a camp version of Airbnb. (Please correct me If I am wrong. ) I've never used it but I hope I can use the service someday.


Especially, I love this distinctive smell of the forest. It is kinda smoky or foggy smell? I really don't know how to describe it in words but I found this smell in Japan, New Zealand and Poland, basically everywhere I lived. Right after I smell this thing, I feel really happy and peaceful. So I figured living near the forest is one of the essential things for me to live happily.



Saying these, I still complain sometimes like "why is it so long to reach the summit" or "I shouldn't have come today" while hiking.

However, it is also true that these negative parts are super tiny compared to positive outcomes.


This blog was written in December 2021 so I am kinda looking forward to seeing how my perspective would change in one year or 10 years' time.


Hope my blog made you go outside

Thanks for reading.


Comentarios


bottom of page