Whether you have all the money in the world or live in total poverty, you will only ever have two feet. There’s one mode of transport that is totally inclusive be it class, gender or ethnicity. It is simply within all of us. It feels so natural, so simple. There is nothing as beautiful nor as adventurous as travelling by foot. Take off your shoes and walk into the valleys. Feel the cold soil in between your toes, the long, silky grass between your fingers. Bring with you only the essentials; shut the door behind you and just go. We were born adventurers, trail seekers, explorers and two feet is all we will ever need.
We live our lives in a constant rush, a battle against time which we simply cannot win. Yet, I have discovered something when traveling by foot: it is not the distance you cover nor how quickly you reach your destination that is important. What matters is making the most of every moment of the journey. Enjoy the climb. When you reach the summit and look back over how far you have come, you can reside in the fact that you made the most of today. The view is that much more beautiful when you’ve worked your ass off for it. Don’t be afraid to break a sweat, challenge yourself and find that little bit extra which you never knew you had.
At 2500m altitude I reached the peak of First in Switzerland. After taking one final glance at the map, I shoved it back inside my hydration pack. One final check of my laces and I began gliding down the mountain-side, leaping over streams and slipping down rocky trails. Small stones crumbled down with me. Faster and faster, the adrenaline rush kicked in, my stride length grew, and as the icy wind ran across my face, I stopped. Alone, just me and the mountains. Not a soul for miles. There’s no greater way to connect with the natural world. By foot will be just fine.
- Dan Carter