Hiking across stunning mountains in southeastern Europe helps me to relax and connect with myself in the most powerful way. Mountains are the only place where all my problems and worries totally disappear for at least a couple of hours.
For a long time, I wanted to write about my love for mountains and hiking. I wanted to share my feelings and thoughts. Why do I love to hike? How did I fell in love with the mountains? To explain to you that, first I need to tell you a story about my childhood and my family.
Love for the Mountains Inherited from Grandparents
My grandfather and grandmother, on my mother’s side, were passionate mountaineers. For their honeymoon, they went on Triglav mountain, the highest mountain in Slovenia.
I was so surprised when they told me that because today majority chooses to go to the sea coast, exotic destinations or to explore cities for their honeymoon. Definitely not mountains! But, they were true mountain lovers. They were members of mountain society Energoinvest, from Sarajevo, for many years. I have even found my grandfather’s member card and some photos from his hiking trips. Black and white photos – oldies but goldies!
Back then, they didn’t have fancy mountaineering equipment, only wooden sticks instead of hiking poles, boots and love for the mountains. When my mother and aunt were born, it didn’t take a lot of time until they were also drawn into the world of hiking. They hiked and camped really a lot in their childhood.
Take Your Kids Often to the Mountains
I think it is important to introduce your children, as soon as possible with the world of nature and mountains. Bring them with you on your hiking trips and show them the beauties of nature and teach them how to preserve it.
Later on, when they are older, they can see if hiking is something in what they can find themselves and enjoy it. Maybe, they will not hike often, but hiking and spending time in nature in childhood will shape them for life, make them a better person – kind and generous and increase their creativity and ability to connect with other people. After all, as adults, they will definitely be able to say they had a wonderful and fulfilled childhood.
How Was My Love for the Mountains Born
In my family, love for nature and hiking is something that is passed on from generation to generation. While I was in Primary school I spent most of my summers in a small village called Vukosavci, at beautiful Mt. Majevica, on the north-east of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This is a birthplace of my grandmother, so she and my grandfather after retirement stayed here to enjoy in nature’s beauties. They had goats, chickens, rabbit, and cat. My sister and cousins, and I spent many summers playing with animals and exploring the forest with our grandfather.
I remember one day we played the rain dance on the meadow in front of the house to invoke the rain. Hahaha, that was so funny! Now I smile when I think of that, but then I was scared because after our dance the rain actually started. It was a big thunderstorm, and for a while, I thought that we actually invoked the rain.
My mother often tells me that I remind her of her sister. She passed away seven years ago. We were very close. I think about her every time I go hiking. My aunt was a passionate mountaineer and we hiked a lot together. In our every walk, she was teaching me about the types of clouds, flowers and trees we could see. I think I inherited the curiosity and desire to learn about everything in nature from her.
I was born and I live all my life in Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in Sarajevsko Polje (Field) and surrounded by beautiful mountains. From Sarajevo, you can fast and easily get out of the concrete jungle and step into wonderful thick forests and hike to some of the nearby peaks. This is also one of the reasons why did I, since my childhood, spent almost every weekend hiking.
Meditation During Hikes
I’m also practicing yoga for about 7 years. For a long time, I was struggling with meditation. How not to focus on some thoughts? How to keep your thoughts just flowing and stay focused on breath? Then, after some time I figured out that meditation is not just seating in your room and trying not to think about anything. I realized that I’m meditating while hiking.
Every time I go hiking I feel happier and I just can’t remove the smile from my face. I can think more clearly and I feel inspired. It’s like I am able to do everything I imagine.
The positive energy flows through my whole body. Al my worries disappear. I feel relaxed and full of love. In every hike, I admire the beauty of nature. I want to learn as much as I can about every flower, tree, mountain, river, animal- everything about nature. I enjoy watching sunsets and sunrises, flowers blooming and leaves changing colors. I’m meditating.
Enjoy in Every Step in the Mountains
There are people who just want to conquer as many peaks as they can. But, there are also people who just want to enjoy the outdoors. I belong to the second type of people. I don’t find satisfaction in conquering the mountain peaks. I find it in enjoying every step I make in nature.
John Muir, famous environmental philosopher, and advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States, once said: “In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks”. I completely agree with his statement, and I can say I really do discover a lot of new things about nature and myself in every hike.
Hiking is a way to discover and connect with yourself and nature. Hiking is like meditating. What do you think?