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Sarah Ann Hunt - Travel - Yolo
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Hiking: The adventure starts when you put on your hiking boots

Hiking guide Sarah-Ann Hunt has published the travel book YOLO about throwing yourself into adventure and living spontaneously. Lace up your hiking boots and take Sarah-Ann out for a walk.
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Af Sarah-Ann Hunt

It's got in to be out!

"Walking out the door at home is a dangerous thing, because once you start walking, you never know where you will end up." The quote comes from the well-known fairy tale writer JRR Tolkien and rightly so, because hiking can actually be quite adventurous.

The ability to walk, stand and run on two legs is called bipedalism, and man not only belongs to, but totally dominates the bipedal species, such as bears, kangaroos, mice, chipmunks, birds and of course the monkeys. We have been doing this ever since our ancestors learned to collect food using their hands and thus upgraded the fusses to be the preferred means of transportation from then on.

The first and most - yes, even the smallest - adventures in life begin with a single step and involve walking to some degree. Walking makes us well and demonstrably happier, and in fact, walking has become one of the most preferred and popular ways to experience a new country or a foreign destination. The hike is a cheap, easily accessible and flexible form of travel that most people can find out and take part in.

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Hiking - lifestyle, hobby or game betting?

Therefore, hiking has also gone from being a low-practice form of travel in ancient times to being a lifestyle, leisure activity or sport for many. The Norwegians are perhaps the best example of a people whose identity and people's soul lies in going out into the mountains to go far, and hiking is a whole lifestyle for them.

Hiking - or walking fast - has become a popular sport and form of competition abroad, especially in USA og Europe. Here we are not talking racing, but the so-called trail races or trail running, where there is both money, prestige and sponsorships in climbing hiking trails, mountain passes and the wild nature quickly and efficiently.

In Denmark wins adventure races and triathlon greater entry; it is perhaps the most reminiscent of it stylistically.

Most hike for pleasure, but others hike professionally and see hiking as their full-time employment, occupation, or even career booster. We can all remember the period when you could hardly have become a business leader or prime minister if you had not also run a DHL relay, a marathon or completed a Ironman…

A new fun trend is hiking as a purpose or bet. Now just take the young Dane Charlie, who stepped out the door at home in Esbjerg one morning and only stopped 3 years later when Lagos - the largest city in Nigeria - was on the sign.

He left Denmark to Africa in the service of a good cause: To put more focus on problems of water scarcity down there. Yes, recently I read about Helge from Vorslunde, who promised to go from the North Cape to Give if the neighbor stopped smoking! So here we are talking about a hike of 3500 km, but what do you not do for a smoke…?

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Get paid to enjoy the view

So, what is it like to have hiking as his job? Well, as a hiking guide, it's great to be paid to go and enjoy the view at the same time, but it's also hard - especially when you have others than yourself in tow.

I have worked both as a hiking guide and researcher, where the latter is clearly the easiest, because there you only have yourself and the route to take into account. Of course, it can also make one a little foolhardy or overconfident at times, and I have to admit that I have hiked in both thunderstorms and lightning and also has been gone up to several times in boats Norway and the French and Italian Alps.

It is important to prepare well before departure both mentally and physically. A good hike is also characterized by the fact that it is at least as nice to get home as it was to get away - but it does require that you can actually find home…

Hiking with other guests on a trip is quite a challenge. Wind and weather can neither be ordered nor predicted, and you naturally want to give everyone as good an experience as possible. The hardest part is that you never really know who you are on a trip with and whether they know what it means to hike or just have an idea or romantic idea about it.

What guests most often overlook or see through fingers is the number of kilometers in relation to altitude meters, because walking downhill is certainly not the same as walking uphill for a whole day. I have seen murder in the eyes of people when I told them that there was still a 200-300 meters missing to the top. You usually have to sweat and suffer a little before it gets really fat. "Everyone can see the bottom of the mountain", as they say.  

The wildest thing I have tried are people who have definitely run away or lied to themselves to avoid walking. A participant once told me that she had broken her back by falling out of the bunk bed in the cabin… And then many of us guides have tried to stand with several guests who had no idea that it was a hiking holiday they had booked - or as on the contrary have booked a walking holiday even though they do not like to walk or move at all. The classic above them all is when people book a trekking or hiking trip with the intention of getting in shape along the way and therefore can barely walk 500 meters without a break.

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That said, everyone can learn to hike and love to walk.

I myself have always loved a good walk and have loved the outdoor life, tent accommodation and campfire evenings ever since, I could read the 'Plaice Book' and go to the scout once a week.

Gradually, I have wandered in boats Europe, USA, Africa og Asia, where the many national parks and the special nature provide extra experiences and of course also new challenges. Although I've been a professional hiking guide, everything I do is unfortunately not always well thought out - or I'm just a jubilant optimist. But I have then managed to pack a tent without a canopy for a month and a half camping in Africa, because "it never rains there". It does so, I can tell you!

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Only the imagination and the feet set the limit for hiking

Just as the seasons and times change, yes, so do destinations and travel trends change. As the interest and demand for hiking and hiking holidays has increased, a myriad of new ways, opportunities and styles for walking or going far have been both invented and developed.

The most well-known are probably hiking and trekking, ie day hiking or hiking in difficult-to-access terrain with a minimum of one night in the open air. And then there are the newer shoots on the trunk in the form of rambling, trampling, bush walking, nordic walking, geocaching, barefooting, backpacking, speed hiking, peak bagging, race walking and pilgrimage or formation walk, to now 'name drop' a few. And then there are my personal favorites: Night hiking, nude hiking and whiskey hiking - preferably combined.

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Everything is within walking distance if you have the time for it

Some of the world's most famous hiking trails cover Great Wall of China, Inca to Machu Picchu in Peru, the trip to the top of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and the Tour de Mont Blanc in France. But also larger and longer routes are gaining ground, such as the Great Ocean Walk in Australia or the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail both in USA.

The Pacific Crest Trail known as 'PCT' is perhaps the best known and stretches more than 4000 km away Mexico to Canada along the Pacific coast of the United States. It typically takes 4-5 months to complete, of which the real hardcore hikers make a 'yoyo' and of course just take the same getaway back now that they are up and running.

It may be just enough for someone's taste or pleasure, but everything is in principle within walking distance, as long as you have the time and desire for it.

I even dream of walking all or part of the classic over them all: The 800 km long route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain; also known as Camino. It has gradually become a whole tributary, no matter what you fail at or where fucked up you are, so just walk the Camino!

First, though, I'm at sea for a few months, as I'm training to be a ship officer at the AP. Møller Maersk. All my walking therefore takes place on the deck or up and down in the accommodation, but it can easily give a 9-10 km daily, when the ship is one of the world's largest and almost 400 meter long. As we sailed through the Suez Canal, I could go up and take a look at the Sinai Desert and Egypt at the same time, but otherwise it is mostly water and waves. But just as there are with hiking, no two waves are alike…

When the trip goes home to Nexø again, it is again on daily evening and morning trips. I look forward to that too!

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About the travel writer

Sarah-Ann Hunt

Sarah-Ann Hunt is half Danish / half English, has visited the Earth's seven continents and traveled in more than 48 different countries around the world. She has traveled in many ways both alone and in groups, as a volunteer and volunteer, guest and long-distance sailor, language school student and student, and traveled privately and professionally.
Sarah-Ann has been a travel guide, hiking guide and researcher over several seasons for both Danish and foreign travel companies, including the world's largest adventure company; the British-Canadian G Adventures.
She is an ambassador for Svendborg Maritime Academy and currently works as a ship officer for Maersk Line. Therefore, the next adventure takes place at sea and the trip goes i.a. through the Suez Canal, across the Indian Ocean and towards the Far East.

In 2020, Sarah-Ann has released debut book YOLO, which is a travel novel that takes the reader around the globe on breathtaking, action-packed, fun and subtle adventures. The book has been almost 3 years in the making and hits the spot at a time when most people unfortunately have to content themselves with dreaming far away from the sofa and the four walls of the home.

Alongside the journey and the work of writing, Sarah-Ann Hunt also holds exciting travel lectures.




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