Happy New Year! Time to reflect on the year that passed.
Sweet. The travels to Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand. Seeing my trailsisters again, wild camping with A. under the stars, drinking coffee together wherever we are.
Bitter. Missing New Zealand. Being harsh on myself on the choices I make. Doubting, ruminating.
Not surprising that both my brother and boyfriend gave me the same book for Christmas: the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I should learn to give less f*cks. Because there is nothing real bitter in my life.
Memories though, can be bittersweet.
Before getting all too sentimental here, let’s go back to the highlights of the year: my best moments, pictures, and hikes.
Best nine hikes of 2017
New Zealand. That’s what pops in my mind immediately. Too many great hikes to choose from. Luckily I walked most of them in 2016, which made it easier to make a selection for you.
2017, however, was not all about New Zealand. Our summer was filled with European adventures…
1. Hermannsdaltind, Lofoten, Norway
Hermannsdaltind is the highest mountain of Moskenesoya, one of the Lofoten islands that we thruhiked from south to north this summer. “Peace of cake“I thought, when I read it was ‘only’ 1029 m (~3376ft).
Numbers lie. Holy moly. This was freaking scary.
But then it became freaking amazing. Watching over the entire Lofoten islands, wow!
More about this? Check out my instagram for more Norwegian stories & pictures.
2. Motatapu track, Central Otago, New Zealand
Frankly, this was not my first choice for a multi-day hike in the Wanaka region. I wanted to go over Cascade Saddle. Badly. But the Weather Gods had other ideas. And Cascade Saddle in bad weather can be dangerous.
So I listened to Mother Nature or whatever you call it and chose another trail.
Unexpectedly, the choice for the Motatapu track couldn’t have been better. Golden tussock landscapes, steep climbs and rigdelines, and the sun shining.
3. Utrechtse Heuvelrug, the Netherlands
The Utrechtse Heuvelrug is the closest National Park to where I live. Although it’s beautiful in every season, autumn was my favorite. I drove up here four times, seeing the colors change.
Surprisingly, my favorite walk was in summer, when I walked from Zeist to Austerlitz. This was part of an NS-trail; hiking trails that usually connect two train stations.
4. Hiking up Rochers de Naye (2045m), Switzerland
Against advice from my Swiss colleagues, I decided to hike up Rochers de Naye from Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). This meant 1630 metres (5347 ft) ascending, despite knowing that I could take a train all the way to the top. But I don’t think I would have felt so proud and ecstatic about being on top of Rochers de Naye if I had taken the train.
5. Wandering around Dublin
Sometimes a girl needs to take her boyfriend on a citytrip, especially after leaving him for months of solo travelling. It was more about food and beer than adventure, but we nevertheless WALKED to the Guinness factory…
6. Kepler track, Fjordland, New Zealand
The Kepler track is one of the Great Walks in New Zealand. Well, Great it was. An alpine trekking with a diversity of landscapes: the golden thussocks that I love about New Zealand, views of lake Te Anau, mountains covered in green trees, and more…
7. Zuid-Kennemerland, Holland
It was so great to see them again that I totally forgot to make pictures. Luckily, Holland’s Coast path – the Dutch long distance trail that I’m section hiking – leads me back to Kennemerland, so blogs and pictures will follow.
8. Kvalvika Beach, Lofoten, Norway
Kvalvika Beach is a popular destination for many tourists. I get why, it’s absolutely stunning, but the downside of its popularity is that it attracts people who are not aware of the Leave No Trace principles. Or worse, who don’t give a sh*t about it; and literally leave their shit.
Just a gentle, general reminder for everyone outdoors: dig a hole, do your thing, bury it. No business near the trail or watersources. Makes sense, right?
9. Walking down from the highest point of the Swiss Alpine Pass Route, a.k.a the Via Alpina Green Trail
Walking UP to Hohtürli (2778m, 9114ft.) was less fun, I must say.
Then, it became pretty amazing. I met two Belgian girls with whom I descended to the Oeschinensee. The views were totally different than what I had seen on this trail so far. Somehow, it reminded me of Canada, where I’ve never been….
Call me silly, but when I mentioned it to my new trailbuddy, she totally agreed with me (and for the record: she had lived in Canada for a while). See the picture below and descide for yourself: does this look like Canade to you?
Best nine insta-photos
The best nine is an insta-initiave. So credits to instagram. I’m the next s*cker who totally loves it. And guess what? I also started tweeting and pinning this year. You can even follow this blog on Facebook and Bloglovin now.
Best nine moments of 2017
1. Celebrating our 5-years anniversary
We met each other at a New Years Eve Party in 2011. Five years later, I was travelling alone in New Zealand. Guess what my boyfriend did? He travelled around the world to be with me on our 5-years-anniversary.
Sea-kaying that day in Abel Tasman National Park was the best.
2. Getting a job after my New Zealand adventure
I never really talk about work here, but let me tell you this. I left to New Zealand with no plans whatsoever for what next. I didn’t stress about it. I knew there would always be something I could do. And hell yeah! I got a job offer (by text!) when still in New Zealand.
Before I decided to go on a big adventure, I worried a lot about the financial aspects. Hopefully, sharing my story will encourage you guys to choose for adventure.
Is it not possible for you to leave for a big adventure? Don’t worry, I thought of ten small-scale adventures to combine with daily (working) life. Read it here.
3. A beach day in Athens
I’m not a beach girl. Never been. Never will be. But, from time to time, we all need some down-time. Why not lying on a Greek beach when you’re already there? Sun, sea, and cocktails: it’s a hard life.
Disclaimer: Don’t be afraid that this will turn into a ‘normal travel blog’. It won’t. I still prefer travelling by foot.
4. A weekend away with friends to run, walk, and play bord games: Veluwe, the Netherlands
I like the Veluwe a lot. Why don’t I visit it more often? I probably should. For sure we need to repeat what we did last year: renting a cabin in the woods. Eating, drinking wine, playing games, more wine. Some running (me! morning person!) and walking. Even my friend Robbie, who is not much of a hiker, enjoyed going out for a walk in the woods:
5. Moving to a new place
Again. In the past two years, we moved places twice. For now on, I’m sóó done moving. Luckily, we’re both very happy with our new place, a renovated appartement in an old school.
6. Drinking coffee. Lots of it.
The best moments of the year are not only the grand things that happened, sometimes small moments matter the most. Our recurrent habit of drinking coffee everywhere we go made me very happy this year.
7. Paddling above the artic circle
Do I need to say more? Epic.
8. Christmas time
Family is the best. Whether it’s family by trail or by blood. Christmas time was all about it. My sister and I even took our parents to one of the famous German Christmas markets. With Glühwein and Bratwurst off course.
9. Reunion with my trail sisters
Oh gosh I love outdour women. Ok, maybe not all of them. But it’s SO GREAT to FINALLY have friends now who love hiking too. New Zealand gave me trail sisters: with one I share looks, with the other personality.
AND I GOT TO SEE THEM AGAIN.
More adventures to come!
What were your best moments, walks, and favorite adventures? Can’t wait to hear it! Shout it in the comment section!
Wanna read more? You might also like this:
- Why I didn’t aim to walk 1000km this year and more outdoor goals
- Our travel memories of 2016
- The Why of hiking the length of New Zealand