Have you been planning your trip? Looking for the right backpack, comfy boots, nice accommodation, cheap tickets, perfect trail. And also looking for the perfect companion – the person you’ll be sharing the adventure with. And sometimes the person is only you. Just think about it – nobody to adjust to, to talk to, no complaints to listen to. Just pure alone time with your thoughts.
And now you may think it is scary. But I bet you’re brave enough. It is the perfect way to get to know yourself better.
Just check few videos of solo hikers for inspiration.
Everything around you is based on communication – it is the key, right? Constant emails at work, number of group chats on Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber – you name it. It seems that if you turned your phone off for a day, you’d be lost. Not following the current events, gossip and work matters – this might sound frightening, but if you need rest from your duties, maybe you need rest from communication as well?
It’s harder than you think: wi-fi zones are everywhere around you, mobile carriers offer the best roaming deals and hiking without Google Maps is just scary. But it shouldn’t be. You just need to download TrailSmart app and an offline map of the trail you’re going to hike on. And it’s done – you’re ready for a refreshing offline hike.
Oh, but with your connection off the communication is not. You’d be surprised how many topics there are to discuss with your companions and with yourself!
Telephone. Do you really need it every minute? Try turning it off.
Thank you for the picture, Ruth.
The football season is starting soon. And if you actually call the game football, you probably follow the Premier League (English football league) as well. Wanted to go see a game but your wife/girlfriend/lover did not think so? I know the perfect way how to trick her into that!
Plan your amazing hike on the Cotswold way. Describe it as: our romantic getaway from the city to have new adventures and get to spend more time together and know more about each other. Show her some pictures of villages that look like Downton Abbey scenery. Book the nice B&B. And coincidently find the flight to the city your team plays at to be the cheapest one. Oh, and there’s a game happening just the day you land. It would be such a shame to miss it.
“Baby, doesn’t it remind you of the series you were watching? Downton Abbey? Wouldn’t it be cool to see something like that?”
Don’t thank me, go plan the trip.
Check TrailSmart app if you need some help – we have it covered.
“Honey, I can’t wait. It’s going to be sooo romantic!”
P.S. More pictures to show to your girl can be found here: http://bit.ly/2sjvjeE and http://bit.ly/2uH9Sm3
Everyone wants to leave a mark on the world. Be the world your family, friends or even entire planet. And you can work on it on your regular life – be a nice person, be brave, be innovative. Just act the way you’d like to be remembered.
But once you leave your home and go exploring, leave a different mark: tips and inspiration. Write your name on the tree, because you want to. Leave small notes in all the log boxes you can find. Try to help with your words.
The simplest way to leave mark is the walkers log box. But you should try more ways.
And with your actions! Help your new fellas from the road: share the knowledge you have, strength, good words, company, patches for blisters or simply sips of water.
Act the way you want to be remembered. And you never know, maybe you will leave a good mark on your hike friend’s life forever.
P.S. Download the picture here: http://bit.ly/2tzfxcI
Once you decide to go on a trip you may end up in planning fever: too many questions and not enough time. Best deal on tickets, nice accommodation, things to do and see, packing list and so many other questions will pop up every day until you have everything planned. Your other option is going with the flow, only buying the ticket and hoping for the best. Both of the approaches have some drawbacks, so the best way to plan would be by doing both. Here are some tips you could follow if you want to plan&chill:
- Tickets. Here you must choose which one you value more – time or money and stick to it. Of course, 23 hours layover in some small airport is not a thing you’d enjoy the most, but maybe it is worth it if you want to stay at your destination longer? Also, if your layover is this long and you can choose the city where you change the planes, make the decision after checking how far is the airport from the city centre. It is always nicer to go sightseeing for at least few hours than sit on the airport floor.
- Local events. If you want to avoid cities full of tourists or locals, check for popular events in the area around the time you’re coming. You might want to see how everything looks like, but in some places you may want to avoid those as it might get too loud and sometimes – unsafe. Also, it usually affects housing prices.
- Accommodation. If you’re not sure about the accommodation you’ve chosen, how long you want to stay there or what’s the availability, the best way is to contact the hotel/hostel/host directly. Don’t forget that usually locals work there, so they might help you with more questions that you have (events, transportation, currencies, etc). Also, you can pretty much feel how the place is managed from the conversation (or lack of it). Just please, don’t expect receptionists to answer ALL of your questions about the country. TIP: contacting directly might help you get a discount as the accommodation would not have to pay commission for booking systems.
- Things to do. Some research about things you want to see is a must. Scroll through TripAdvisor, look over some travel blogs, get the basic opinion about places you want to see, have a shortlist. But keep it simple. You can always change your mind once you go to the country, allow yourself to stay longer in a museum/city/park you enjoyed and just wander around for few hours. Some of the best places are unknown.
- Packing. Again, it depends. This time – on your preferences of fashion, light/heavy packing, comfort, etc. If you’re going on a long hike, there’s definitely a video from somebody that was there already with the tips about packing – check it! If you’re going for fashionable trip – you probably know your sources about packing.
Well, the last tip is to enjoy the planning. That’s the fun part. Learn few facts about the country. But if you don’t – no worries. You have internet everywhere, so just follow up while you drink coffee in a small beautiful restaurant you’ve found travelling.
Plan&chill. With tea (or beer).
P.S. Thanks for the pic, Edna: bit.ly/2rEYSFE
You’ve probably seen pictures from Camino de Santiago. Usually if a person decides to do it, he/she will share that information with you on any (every) social network. Part of the pictures will be full of deep self-realisation vibes, pilgrimage experience comments and other existential matter. Others will simply post beautiful views with even more beautiful Instagram filters. Of course, there are some posts in the middle.
The two categories described are so different due to how people see themselves: pilgrims or hikers. It would seem that all the pilgrims are hikers. But could all the hikers be called pilgrims? From the historic perspective one would consider pilgrims as people travelling to a holy sacred place. Meanwhile hikers are just walking in order to reach their final destination without emphasizing the place itself, but rather the experience from the way there.
But does the distinction still exist in the 21st century? The holy place for pilgrims is definitely still as important as it used to be. Yet if you stop thinking about the place and shift towards the action itself and the pleasure it brings, you can surely view the final “destination” (of satisfaction you’ve been seeking for) as holy and sacred, just as the city or attraction for the pilgrims.
Anyways, since less and less things have a clear definition these times, we probably shouldn’t stick to strict names for one or another. As long as you’re walking, cycling or using any other means of transportation in order to be happy and explore, you are a pilgrim and you are a hiker. The name makes no difference.
Call it what you want, but it would be better if you decided after seeing it yourself on Camino de Santiago.
P.S. Picture is waiting for you here: http://bit.ly/2uZzGec
One of the main struggles before any hike is how to properly pack all the things you might need. Sleeping bag, socks, sweatshirt, sneakers, cosmetics, etc. The list goes on and on. But where to stop? Are you ready to become a camel for the next weeks and have everything you might need? Or would you rather pack lightly and not worry too much about the stuff you did not take?
Are you ready to carry as much stuff as this Turkish camel is going to?
You never know the right answer until you go on the trail and see what did you forget or what was absolutely irrelevant. But one thing you can do here is to learn from other’s mistakes and lessons.
Here are some tutorials from people that have already taken the popular trails. You shouldn’t strictly follow their rules, but they might give you some smart insights.
Now go, watch and pack!
P.S. camel rests here: http://bit.ly/2rVhkcn
I bet you remember at least few people who could not understand why would you go on a hike. On foot. With a back pack. Staying in a hostel. Remember their faces full of incomprehension? Oh and just imagine their faces after telling them you’d hike in the mountains. Or the steep hills close to the ocean. I can assure you they will say this is extreme. But is it?
What would you consider extreme: going on a hike alone or never leaving your home country (state)? Hiking in the mountains or always staying in some resort area? Going to a local market in rather unsafe country or not going anywhere?
In most of the cases not going anywhere, staying inside the resort and just never travelling abroad could be considered safer. But isn’t it extreme? I mean extremely boring?
So, people, meet the new extreme – huge fear, keeping you away from your next adventure. The same fear that keeps you locked in living a safe life that is so quiet it’s almost extreme. And still there must be the adventurous soul somewhere in you, so just do something extreme for you. Go on a trip alone, hike somewhere you never thought you could, go abroad!
Looking for some gentle extremes? Try Cappadocia and create your extremes yourself.
Find the great pic here: http://bit.ly/2tfikMF
If you’re having a hard time deciding on your next destination, you’ve probably thought about your preferences already. Are you looking for mountains, beautiful valleys, ancient history, amazing views, friendly people, or delicious food?
Nice change from the busy western cities, isn’t it?
Even better if the place could have it all… And actually, Cappadocia does!
Turkish heaven can offer almost everything: picturesque views, mountains, green valleys, old and thrilling history, ancient rock-cut churches, culture, entertaining activities and many other things you might be looking for.
Just don’t forget your camera. Everything around you will look like a poster.
Want to go? One more tip for you – download our TrailSmart app. It’s free.
With TrailSmart, you’ll have everything on your smartphone – geo-located accommodations, hiking trails, detailed offline maps, attractions, useful tips, and everything else you need.
Hot air balloons are very popular in Cappadocia.
Find the photographs here:
You think you know yourself. The serious one, who always wakes up at the same time and snoozes that alarm clock only once. The one that doesn’t like to be alone for too long, but hates being surrounded by too many people.
The truth is that you know nothing until you go on a trip alone. You can meet the real you then. Deal with the problems on your own, go where you want to go and figure that out alone.
And only after you come back you realise that even though everything is still the same, you are different. You are more now.
Great Glen Way: forest and reflection. You: the one you know and the one inside.
P.S. Thanks for the pic, Cristiano: http://bit.ly/2rOyvLC