Last time, I shared the first five ideas for small-scale adventures like section-hiking Holland’s Coast Path. I could continue listing nearby places that I would like to adventure (I know it’s not a verb, but it should be!), such as the Vosges in France and the Mosselsteig in Germany. I could also tell you that it is possible to visit volcanos and a geyser without going to Chile, Iceland, Yellowstone or New Zealand. And although I have to admit that these volcanos are not active anymore and that this particular geyser only spouts cold water, the Vulkaneifel in Germany is definitely on my to-hike list.
I could go on and on mentioning specific places, but frankly, there are too many beautiful areas. I’d rather give you some broad ideas that you can adjust for your own situation. Ideas outside my comfort zone as I promised in my last post, remember? That’s where the magic happens 😉
6. A biking adventure
As a kid, my parents took us on biking trips. We cycled from a village near Rotterdam to Terschelling, one of the West Frisian islands (in Dutch called ‘Waddeneilanden’, named after their location; the Wadden Sea).
We also had an epic failure trip where we supposed to bike to England, but ended up in Zeeland, disillusioned. My parents, however, never stopped biking. They even crossed the Alps and made it to Rome. Big hooray for them! I think biking is tough, especially on a windy, wet day (the typical weather here), and I never gave it a try after my childhood, but maybe I should put my reservations aside, get over it, and bike into the world!
7. Pushing my hiking boundaries
What do you wish you could do, but scares you off? Is it hiking solo? Doing a multi-day hike without being able to resupply food? Hiking in winter? These are all examples of my own ‘boundaries’ in the past: things that were just a little bit out of my comfort zone, but that I gave a try. I’m glad I did, but with expanding my comfort zone, there are new things popping up at the edge of my comfort zone. Like hiking a trail without way-marking to improve my navigation skills, which will make me more able to walk in desolate nature.
Expanding my daily mileage is another one. For me, hiking is not about the amount of miles I walk, but I would be proud if I can push my limits, as it would mean that I’m getting fitter. This also helps preparing for a thru-hike, which is definitely on my far-out-of-my-comfort-zone-I-don’t-know-if-I-can-do-this-but-I-really-wish-I-could-list.
Where to increase my daily mileage? I was thinking of going to the most ‘hilly’ area of the Netherlands, where the people become friendlier and their pronunciation softer, and where our highest ‘mountain’ is located (the 322.7m / 1059ft makes me both laugh and cry): Limburg. The 90 kilometres long ‘Krijtlandpad’ Trail starts and ends in Maastricht and might be a suitable for a long weekend if I push myself walking 30km a day.
8. A running adventure
I’ve always loved running, but only recently I’ve managed to fit it in my weekly routine. I would love to pack my tent and backpack for a multi-day running adventure, but it’s too early for me. Well, I could start smaller; this post is about small-scale adventures after all. Why not go on a trailrun in one of our national parks? And when I’m ready – physically and mentally – I’m all in for a weekend of running and (wild)camping!
9. Mudflat hiking (‘wadlopen’ in Dutch)
You may have noticed that I like beach-walking. Like running, it clears my mind. I don’t know if I like hiking in the mud though, but the idea that you can walk to one of our West Frisian Islands if the tide is low instead of going by boat is kind of cool.
10. Let’s hitch the road, baby!
Hitchhiking: both scary and appealing. I’ve hitched with friends and alone, abroad and in my hometown. I’ve almost always enjoyed it. A few times it felt uncomfortable, another time I’ve been called names when I held my thumbs up (this actually happened in my hometown), but I’ve mostly met friendly, interesting people. An older lady that had never dared to give someone a ride, a bus driver, an anthropologist who travelled the world…
I’ve only hitched for short distances though. Never had the guts to make hitch-hiking my main mode of transport. Maybe I should go crazy, pick a random European city on the map, and try to reach it with my thumbs up…