Well-being

filling up on nature; how a solo trip empowered an adventure queen

filling up on nature; how a solo trip empowered an adventure queen

A guest post by blogger Angela Chick:

I was surrounded by nature as a child. I remember family walks in the winter, trudging through snow and drinking from freezing rivers. I remember island hopping in a lake with other kids from the neighbourhood, imagining we were the only people to have ever explored that land. I remember feeling a certain type of fullness when I’d return from spending time outdoors. Whether I’d been out playing in the snow and my pink cheeks were just starting to thaw, or running around catching fish in the river with our bare hands, I’d return home absolutely exhausted but absolutely full of goodness.

Read on to hear how Angela turned back to nature to overcome the mental health challenges she faced as an adult.

what i talk about when i talk about walking

what i talk about when i talk about walking

“When I go for a walk it’s just a walk. But for you it’s more than that, isn’t it?” said my mum recently. Well, no, not really. It’s still just a walk. But I think there’s a lot to a walk; the name given to the physical mechanics of it being by far the least interesting part. The movement of walking largely takes care of itself, becoming, literally, a vehicle for everything else that that easy, natural, silent self-propelled locomotion facilitates: thinking, talking, humming, noticing, breathing, gazing, reflecting, meditating and … doing nothing. Doing the thing that defines us as human beings is an excellent means for us to stop doing and enjoy just being human.

story-telling and walking

story-telling and walking

Do you know the one about the Gobhaun Saor? I inherited both my parents’ love of the spoken word and a hearty walk, and these days I love finding walks which have stories attached; myths of landscape, history and folklore which enrich the journey and activate the soul, as well as the sole! Here are four of my favourite walking tales, with my own ‘morals’, some more serious than others:

what (on earth) is a pilgrimage, and why (on earth) would I want to go on one (on earth)?

what (on earth) is a pilgrimage, and why (on earth) would I want to go on one (on earth)?

Pilgrimages are just walks. After all, walks have destinations and are deliberate, and they can be extended over many days. And walks can be serious, rich and inspirational. The word pilgrim derives from the Latin ‘peregrinus’ meaning ‘foreigner’ from the words ‘per ager’ meaning ‘through the fields’. A pilgrim is one who comes through the fields, a wanderer from afar, a person on a walk. But aside from the decline of religious faith in the modern world, there are reasons we don’t call ordinary walks pilgrimages. Choosing to label a walk a ‘pilgrimage’ elevates its significance considerably. So what distinguishes a pilgrimage from a walk?