I’m not the first to believe that footsteps, pedal turns and paddle strokes can feel like the essence of life. Never does my mind function better, or my soul feel more connected to some sort of natural order, than when I’m hiking on a mountain, cycling an empty road, or kayaking along a wild strip of coastline.
“I can only meditate when I am walking,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote. “When I stop I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.” Friedrich Nietzsche was even more resolute on the subject: “Only those thoughts which come from walking have any value.”
This blog will be my “thoughts which come from walking”. Wilderness inspires me, and to journey through it self-propelled and self-sufficient is my personal meditation. Out there I have thoughts as clear as the mountain air. The grumpy bastard you might see in the city is the happy child you’ll find on a trail.
In this blog I hope to explore and share wild and mild natural places around the world. They won’t all be Everests – they may never be Everests – and they will rarely be step-by-step accounts – the day I write ‘turn left’ or ‘turn right’, I have lost my way. I want to look at the natural world for what it is, but also for what it does – the way it affects our spirit, calls us back time after time, drawing us out of ourselves and inspiring us.
It will be about travel, but you won’t find any spas or hotels or probably even cities in it, though even in cities the earth is ever-conspiring, cracking open the things we create to let nature sneak back in. So you never know.