My first winterhike: Good beer, crazy Belgians, and a boyfriend to keep me warm in the snow

Winter turns me into a couch potato. You’ll find me on the sofa with lots of blankets, surrounded by candles and chocolates, watching Love Actually. Preferably together with my boyfriend Aaron, but unfortunately he can’t appreciate the predictability of those happy love stories as much as I do. So he suggested that we should hike instead. Yes, shocking, isn’t it? I almost choked in my chocolate when I heard it. Hiking when it’s cold. In the snow!!

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The hiking virus

If I tell my colleagues that I got my nice tanned skin from bathing in a natural hot spring in Iceland after having walked through rain, snow, and rivers, they look a bit lost, not knowing what to say about my idea of having a proper summer vacation. I even surprised myself this summer, as I’d never expected that I could enjoy a 20km walk in almost continuous rain. I did not only perceive it as a good preparation for heavier adventures in the future, but I actually still enjoyed the hiking.

After our trip, I had muscle aches throughout my body. For a “normal” person, this would probably be a sign of never doing this again and having a beach holiday next year. For me, the muscle aches tell me that I have to exercise more to be better prepared next time. Of course, there was a moment – as in every hiking trip I make – that I thought: “What on earth am I doing here? I’m cold, I’m tired, I’m dirty, and I have to eat shitty food and sleep in a tent”. I started thinking of our weekend in Paris this year, where we stayed in a nice hotel and had dinner in all those amazing restaurants… Luckily enough, these moments never last long and now I’m back home again, I can only think of going again.

Am I infected by the hiking virus? Definitely. Are you?

Let’s do the checklist. Yes=1 point, no=0 points. You can get a final score between 0 (not infected at all) to 10 (join me, we’re lost causes).

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