On the walk
Oh yes, I did go on a walk sometimes! In the weekend, now and then, when the weather was nice and when I felt like it…. A few kilometers. We would drive to a forest somewhere and walk, together with the children, a predefined route. Later we also walked together, without the children, just from home. Recently there has been some change in that. In this time of working from home I noticed that it was quite difficult to get enough exercise. I sit longer and more at my desk. Toilet and coffee are close by, I don’t have to climb stairs or go for a walk to a colleague.
Again, the walking quarter did not fall immediately. Only since last fall did it become an almost regular part of the weekend and later it became so for the weekdays, on the days I didn’t go running. Even when it rained, just on my rain boots and with an umbrella in hand . A route of at most 7 or 8 kilometers, on my working days usually shorter. Sometimes together and often alone. It clears my head, it relaxes and I see details that I don’t notice when I’m cycling or running. It is very mindful. Very often I come home with a few beautiful photos. These photos often inspire me to write some haiku. For example here and here.
On the way
And while you’re on the walk you discover more and more. In addition to cycling junctions, there are also walking junctions, what a super invention! This allows you to create your own route as short or long as you want. We also used these junctions to put together a half marathon that we ran at the end of November on the Veluwe. And yes, I did come across other markings along the way, in my almost daily walk, including a red/yellow one, but never gave it any further thought. It could also indicate a mountain bike route. Until a sign suddenly appeared…. This red/yellow marking was the marking of a hiking route, the Noardlike Wâldenpad!
Long distance walks
Walking long distances, or even going on a walking vacation, I never had that ambition. I don’t even own hiking boots. But now it’s starting to itch a bit… Still somewhat curious, I went to investigate the world of long distance hiking trails. I soon learned that there is a difference between a long-distance footpath, indicated as LAW in the Netherlands, where the start and finish are at least 150 kilometers apart, and a regional footpath, which makes a round trip in a number of sections within one region. The Noardlike Wâldenpad in Friesland (where I live) is a regional trail.
And now I wonder how that works, taking such a long walk. You walk from A and to B and don’t come back to A again…. How do people do that? What do you take with you on the road if you’re really going to be on the road for a few hours? The researcher in me wants to explore, learn, experience all that…. And let me just start close to home, with the Noardlike Wâldenpad, of which the first part even starts in Bergum (Burgum in Frisian), the village where I live.
Follow the sun!
Yes, I am going to walk the Noardike Wâldenpad, that is my goal! And I give myself the space to do that in my own time and pace. So not, every weekend a piece, finish within a certain time, improve my walking speed or with the goal to be able to handle a walk of 50k. Just walking and seeing what it brings me. I am very curious what I will encounter along the way, not only what I will see along the way, but also what I will learn and experience about (long distance) hiking.
If you like you can check out this blog from Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness project. She introduced a challenge to go on a walk 20 minutes every day in 2020: #walk20in20. Why not start your own challenge: #walk21in21? Even if you don’t walk every day Gretchen shares a lot of tips and other walking inspiration!