My Picks of Hiking Related Travel Articles
The extended Christmas holidays, the ten days or so “between the years”, are a great invention, but – as even the most rabid Christmas enthusiast will have to admit – not without certain longueurs. Which is why we are particularly happy at this time of year for something (anything!) that helps to distract and, possibly, amuse us. If you like good travel writing, here is something that might distract and amuse you. Here’s my short selection of some of the best hiking related travel articles from the past twelve months.
1. First, a little nod to what may well be the most acclaimed piece of travel writing of the year, Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild“, about a life-changing hike on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to Washington State. I have not read the book myself although it was hotly recommended to me. Here is a short interview with the author. (where you will have a link to a brief synopsis, a video trailer and a few blurbs.)
2. Personally, I have always found the “urban wildernesses” as fascinating as deserts and mountains: places that have been touched by humans and altered forever before being abandoned for a variety of reasons. This, it seems, is a particularly interesting specimen.
3. I don’t really know how to characterize the next item on the list. As a learned treatise on the nature of the backpack, perhaps, or as a history of the backpacking adventure. Pieces on the philosophy of travel normally make me run, but I found this piece rather endearing, smartly written, amusing and surprisingly profound.
4. After so much profundity, you have deserved a little break. Your treat: a look into the abyss. Aaaah! Travel and Leisure, I find, is an altogether great site. I could spend hours just clicking myself from one “world’s most scenic” to the next “world’s strangest”. So thank you for returning. It’s an honour to have you back.
5. The next piece has nothing to do with hiking as such although you could connect some of the sites mentioned in the article for a literature-themed walk of your own through the countryside east of London.
But I simply had to include it here because it is the best piece of travel writing I have come across all year: funny and sad, keenly observed and warm-hearted, just like it had been written by the author’s great idol who hovers over the piece like a ghost of newspaper essays past.
6. Finally, something seasonal. Click on the map if you live in the UK, and you may even find something that seems just right for you – in the event that all this holiday reading about hiking has given you an appetite for a walk of your own.
Happy holidays and wishing you the best for the New Year!