As a writer you sure have to deserve your credits the hard way. As thruhikers do too.

When you hike and reach the end-terminus, your peeps at home congratulate you, they’re full of “wow you did it” and “it must have been amazing”. But after a week (well if you’re lucky maybe two or three) the excitement calms down and things go back to how they were before (that is for the people around you). So there you are, having hiked hundreds or even thousands of miles, but now standing in the middle of that old living room again, sitting at the table in the kitchen you’ve eaten so many breakfasts. And you can’t help asking yourself: “Has it all been a dream? Or why is it that I feel so lonely, so empty and so out of place?”
Being a writer ain’t much different. When you write something the people out there like, you get nice comments and they encourage you to keep on writing. Lots of people read along but don’t say anything, so you kinda have to make up in your head what they think of it. And then I always end up asking myself the same and highly uncomfortable questions: “Girl, why are you sharing your thoughts with the world? Are you just doing this to get attention? Do you seriously think you got something to share?” These are the questions that come to my mind in the calm after the storm, when encouraging words only ring from the distance.

A lot of people hike… a lot! Most of them though don’t write about it. Why would you write about hiking in the first place? Really, “why do you hike?” is not the question. Cuz we all feel how comforting spending time in nature is, how healing the pace of wilderness is and how it is a relieve, to just put one foot in front of the other.

So why do I write and why do I blog?

Sometimes I think I shouldn’t, cuz in a way, putting my writings out into the world, makes me vulnerable. In my writings there is so much of me, my feelings, my thoughts, my heart. And I feel like we live in a time where rationallity and ‘not showing how you feel’ is the way to go. The thing is: I’m nothing like that. I’m one big box of emotions (actually no there ain’t no box, a box would be too small), I can hardly think rational (o how many times have I heard “Girl you gotta be realistic”), I’m a longer and a dreamer.
Yet I truely believe vulnerability is the only way to go if you wanna touch people’s hearts, if you somehow someway wanna make a tiny difference (may it just be a smile on someone else’s face). A lot of people mistake vulnerability for being weak. But it’s not. It rather is having the courage to put yourself out there, to do your thing and dealing with whatever reaction that comes your way. Anyway vulnerability isn’t what I wanted to write about. Why the hell do I blog about hiking? That was the question.

This page may seem empty but it never really is. It is full of worlds and treasures, and dreams about to live!

First of all I blog cuz I love writing. I love words and languages and the silence between the sentences, creating worlds out of blank pages. Now there is no writing without inspiration. Hiking and spending time in nature gives me that. It inspires me. It wasn’t till I started hiking that I really found enough inspiration to fill one blank page after the other.
There do is a difference between writing and blogging though. Cuz I could do the writing just for me and keep the pages in well hidden places (the way I do it with my songs). The thing with blogging is, you put it out into the world. Why? Why do we have the need to share what we think, do, love, hate with people whose faces we’ve never even seen?

Of course there is that part in me that loves to get some attention. Hey I’m just human and we people live from recognition, kind feedback, encouraging words, high fives. Hell yeah we do. It’s food for ours souls. We humans have the need to feel loved and accepted and recognized.

Another part of me just loves to make other people smile, to touch their hearts in one way or another. (Haha I know, that won’t happen with my womad gear reviews, but I’ll keep on writing those reviews anyway, cuz I do am a bit of a gear junky and even if my gear talk ain’t very structured and technical, I’m sure they’re of some use to at least some people haha). I don’t like superficiality. I think the important things in life are too often burried deep inside of us. If we all had the courage to let our hearts be touched, to really feel, to really see what we’re longing for and dreaming of, if we all were brave enough to follow our own path, then I think our world kinda would be a different place. So I write about hiking, about my inspiration, about nature, because I hope in one way or another, it will make a tiny difference, it will make someone smile or cry or laugh, or maybe it will encourage someone to finally follow his/her dream. Cuz really if I can do it, anyone can do it!!!

To me writing about hiking is writing about the deeper things, the important things, cuz as I wrote in my “Loveletter to a thruhiker”, when you’re hiking, you get to your core, you get to the things that are important, you’re not busy thinking about what to wear, what to do or what to buy next. No, you think about your life, about the people, about what really matters. And I like writing about that. At the same time I love a good laugh and my humor might be some of the dirtiest you’ve heard. Some people don’t understand that. But I actually think that profundity and humor can’t live without eachother. Man if you can’t laugh, really that’s almost the same as losing hope. (So to all the people with a stick up their ass: Come on, really, life is deep and messy and great and unpredictable and crazy and amazing and sad and funny and black and white and 50 fucking shades of grey…. so hell if you can’t laugh about it… well you might as well go back to sleep then and pull the sheets over your head.)

So why do I blog? I blog because I love writing. I blog because I love writing about what I love. I blog because YES I think I have something to share.  I blog because I hope to inspire. I blog because I hope to touch someone’s heart. I blog because I like it. Do I make a difference? I don’t know, but if my writings put a smile on at least one person’s face, then it’s worth it!
 
Love, 
Cat
 I hike because I love it! I write because I love it! I blog because I love sharing what I love!

17 thoughts on “The question ain’t "Why do you hike?" but "Why do you blog?"

  1. Cat,
    You mention writing, and the Loveletter to a thruhiker made you feel vulnerable. Certainly understandable, but to me it shows strength, confidence and the ability to do what you enjoy in the possible face of scrutiny, doubt and skepticism.
    It's up to the reader to take what you put out there and internalize it for themselves. You should not waver in your own delight for someone else's negativity.
    Keep writing, painting, singing and walking.
    Tim

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  2. Cat, I love your stories! Like you said, there are lots of us out here who read but don't always comment. I look forward to your blogs and always check back a couple times a month to see if there's a new one. I love the honesty, passion and enthusiam in your writing. Keep it up! =D
    – Jaxx

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  3. Thank you for your sweet feedback Jaxx! It's good to hear people like my style (and some don't but hell I can't make everyone happy right? ;c)… I'll definitely keep it up, I'm having too much fun not to ;c) Love, Cat

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  4. Well said! And of course I can relate to some of it.

    I started my blog as a way to share my experiences backpacking (which was brand spanking new to me) with my family and friends. However, as time went on, I began taking it a little different, and actually turned it into a bit more by actually doing gear reviews. However, very few of my gear reviews are long term, which is what I intend. For me, I can't walk into a shop and buy gear… I have to order it online, but that is so hard when I can't put my hands on it… so I have to search the web for legitimate reviews. This is what I now try to offer, along with my trip reports.

    As well, I have had some difficult trip reports to write… particularly the ones in which I had to admit being afraid of the dark all by myself… and then bailing. As well, admitting how much I miss my family when I am away, despite the beauty of the world I am surrounded in, was pretty hard too… But, I find that I would rather be truthful or just not write it at all…

    I also agree, all the high fives and way-to-go's are also nice, as is the interaction with folks. I have also met a number of folks because of my blog and Youtube channel, which is pretty cool. However, I will also admit, they are not all high fives… sometimes the comments do a right fine job at pissing me off! 🙂

    Anyway, over the years I have debated whether or not to stop my blog, or to keep it going (mainly due to time constraints) but have obviously kept it going… Although, for the moment, and in the immediate foreseeable future, I have decided to slow it down a little… and I gotta admit, that is kinda nice too!

    Anyway, I enjoy your blog, and was happy to read this entry… Definitely a good one! Keep it up! 🙂

    ~Stick~

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  5. Hey Stick, thanks! Your blog and gear presentations are so so useful for loads of people, including myself! I buy a lot of my gear online too and it sure is helpful to read about someone else's experience when they first got the item in their hands. Man I can see your blog takes a lot of time and you do what you do well Stick, really well. Though I totally understand you wanna slow it down a little… Having a job, a family,… takes time too, right ;c) I sometimes feel like: Shit I haven't written anything in the last 2 weeks, I better get to it… but then nothing good comes out of it. So I just gotta wait till I get some inspiration and then it just flows out. As for the comments: I was kinda lucky till now. I only had one stupid ass commenting I'm a “bony nothing”… hahaha whatever… Karma will take care of that ;cP Anyway, no matter how your blog evolves (just do it the way it feels right to you), it's always great to read, discover new gear and search in your blog archives before I buy a new piece of gear! Take care! Cat

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  6. I've just stumbled upon your blog. Keep writing, it's very interested to read.

    I also sometimes ask myself the same question 'why do I write'. Initially, when I started the blog, I thought that it was a way to share my personal experiences via trip reports and to encourage people to explore and hike in different places. But as time went by, I found that writing allows me to organize my thoughts and reflect back on my experiences in the wild. If I don't write after a trip, I might be left with some ambiguous feelings. It is as if writing forces me to think harder about trip experiences and the way they change me. So, now I realize that I write blog not only to give some information to others but also to better understand myself.

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  7. Hi Victor, happy to hear you like my writing! Jep you're so right. I do not just write for others but really for me too. As you said it helps to reflect experiences, it makes me rethink things, makes me realize stuff I might not have come up with if I wouldn't write about it. Please post or send me your blogadress, I'd love to read it ! Cat

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  8. Yeah, you should definitely visit the Sarek NP. It is a place of its own class. While here, in central Europe, the Alps are rather tamed and civilized mountains, Sarek is a truly wilderness area mostly untouched by modern society.

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  9. Hi Cat – if you are a writer, you write! You can't help it! And if you are brave and generous, you share what you write with others. Some will like it. Some will get inspiration from it, which is what keeps us living (as distinct from alive). Thank you for your writings and also photos, I love your photos too!

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