This time, our guest writer is Sonja, who tells us about conquering those mental obstacles  that surround starting a new hobby like hiking. We’re honored to be a part of the story! //Anne

A hammock might as well be pink

This is a story about courage. About how one can evolve from passive eBay browsing to someone who actually goes on a hike.

Hi, I’m Sonja.

I’m extremely scared of thunder but when you’re safely in a lean-to surrounded by your family members and you find yourself enjoying it, you get this profound sense of accomplishment. The whole trip to Hämmäauteensuo was a success, save for the soaked footwear. The trail back had completely submerged, you see. But we paid no mind, we were almost at the car already.

I’ll tell you this: a week ago I couldn’t have gone. Sure, I’ve spent my share of nights in tents and I even still have some of the camping gear from my teenage years but everything was always done in a large groups. Most of my experience is limited to Larping when I was a kid and Citroën meetups as an adult. You know, you drive your car all the way there and simply spread everything around it. I never had to give packing or carrying a second thought. So hiking is completely new to me. But Anne and Heikki promised to show us the way of the wilderness. We managed to carry everything with a little help from two IKEA bags. Sure, we left some stuff behind by accident but hey, that’s life.

I saw a backpack at the store today. I already have one and it has served me well these past few trips but it’s torn here and there and lacks the necessary amount of pockets. And it’s small, too – fit for spare clothing and food, I guess. I felt like couldn’t find a replacement anywhere but there it was, whispering sweet symphonies of adventures to come! It felt great on my back and I made it a promise that I’d return to collect it on my next payday. On the way back home I remembered that I have a little money saved up and I might as well spend it on something so productive. Maybe I’ll go grab it tomorrow. Maybe I don’t have to carry my stuff in blue IKEA bags anymore.

Before, I couldn’t have gone to the store and buy actual hiking gear in front of other people. They would’ve thought I was some kind of freak and that I don’t know anything about what I’m getting myself into. I know they would’ve!

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that insecurity is the biggest obstacle, in hiking and life in general. You don’t have the know-how right away, you’re too afraid to try and you have this silly thought that everyone thinks you’re weird for doing it. Or you make some huge mistake in forest etiquette or something and get banned from everything hiking related for life! So it’s all about confidence. Have faith in both your capabilities and in your choices. Even though making the wrong choice is so hot right now.

It helps to have friends who can hold your hand when your trekking in the wilderness. Take a backseat on the first trip, pay attention and the things you learn just by watching give you courage to do it on your own the next time around. But I couldn’t do this on my own, right? Surely I need to follow some prime example of them wilderness gurus?

I asked my husband to order me a pink hammock with a pink bug net, because I was driving when this epiphany struck. Because I can.

//Sonja

Sonja Turkia is a pixie princess nearing 40. Her lifelong mission is to produce as much beauty into the world as she possibly can, whether it is in shape of car maintenance, baking or robotics. Accompanied by her best friend and husband, who will bravely take on any challenge. Sometimes they even include their teenager!

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