5 Ways Hiking Has Made Me Better at Traveling

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My hiking boots are my happy place. When I leave for Europe in July, the memories of LA I’ll cherish most are ones I’ve made with dirt on my shins and sweat on my brow. In short, hiking has kept me sane through a stressful move to LA and an impending large and non-traditional lifestyle choice. As I transition to full time travel, I know I'll rely on some lessons I learned on the trail. 

I am more observant. When hiking, it’s much easier for me to notice small things. The tiny wildflowers lining the path. The subtle changes in direction. The first pangs of hunger. The start of a blister. You get the idea. It’s much easier for me to apply that mindset

I know the value of being prepared. It’s one thing to be wandering around a city without a snack or a first aid kit, it’s an entirely different experience to do so in the middle of the wilderness. The process of preparing for a hike and preparing for travel is pretty similar. Honing the fine balance between weight in your backpack and security in your mind is a tricky one. I’m much better at it after frequent hiking!

I know what a kilometer really feels like. As an American, I’m often a little iffy on any distances that aren't in miles. Many hikers, even in the US, use kilometers though. It's given me familiarity with

I know I can do hard things. I've summited the tallest peak in Los Angeles County and three peaks in one day. I've gotten lost and found myself again. I've been able to treat minor injuries and live to tell the tale. Hard things happen, even in the greatest of places, but I'll be able to deal with them. 

I save on transportation costs. 3 miles away? That's walking distance. I walked 10 miles uphill both ways on Saturday. Okay, the "both ways" part might be a stretch. If it's less than a 45 minute walk from me (and is safe to walk), I'm lacing up my shoes. 

Do you have any hobbies that have helped you while you travel? I’m always looking for ways to improve as a traveler, even when I’m home and counting down the days to my next big trip.

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