Rethinking the 'Walking Holiday'

Written by  Kat Mackintosh

Is it not just as simple as putting one foot in front of the other? As you watch walkers strapping their multi-socked feet into well worn walking boots, fold their technologically advanced looking wet weather garb into their pack, and consulting their GPS, compass and maps knowingly, you may be forgiven for thinking ‘what’s all the fuss about - can't some toddlers do it?’ The truth is that these are the tools of the serious walker, you don’t need to have them for a walk to the park and back but if you’re going to attempt a serious walking journey you may need to become familiar with them.

I should know. My parents are ardent bushwalkers, they spent their honeymoon on Tasmania’s Overland Track, and when they had kids saw no reason not to drag them through kilometres and kilometres of bush and desert. Before I turned ten I had wandered the Blue Mountains, ascended Kings Canyon and walked the Bogong High Plains. Their plan worked, instilling in me the excitement of exploring places on foot and though my tastes lead to more genteel destinations, with the promise of a decent glass of wine at the end of the day and at least a shower, if not a bed, I’m still happiest when I’m seeing places at walking pace.

It took me a while to realise that I had become one of them: a 'walker'. At first it was strolling the Loire or part of the Lycian Way or suggesting a ramble along the Amalfi Coast, thinking that was the best way to see the sights for myself (and it certainly is), but then my parents pointed out that I was embarking on walking holidays! And although I may not have been carrying a tent I was wearing sturdy shoes… Just because I don't like to admit it, they're no less right, travelling on your own whim, stopping when there is something to look at and resting when you feel tired really is the best way to get around the place. Even a city. No one considers it a proper walking holiday if you say you’re going to Rome, but in reality you’re probably going to spend your time meandering between the sights, stopping at the highpoints and resting when you're tired, which could easily equal five days on the track, just surrounded by a different kind of scenery.

All the best walks from World Reviewer

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