A Nature Hike with Friends

When people want to gather with family and friends, they often host a party or prepare a special meal – but there are other fun, low-stress and deeply meaningful ways to bring people together. One of my favorite ways is to initiate a relaxing nature hike. This doesn’t require any advanced planning…at its most basic, just some comfortable shoes and a bottle of water.

Friends are usually really receptive to the invitation and appreciate the change of pace. Getting into nature is a great way to connect with the world around us, and a great way to connect with each other.

When I’m outside and away from my daily routine, my stress begins to wash away and I become more reflective and introspective. This is usually true for the people I am with, as well. These special moments give us time to tune-in to one another, listen and contemplate life.

With some groups, hiking consists of following a meandering trail until we grow tired and head back to our starting point. With others, we plan a lengthy and difficult journey to test our limits and reach a shared goal. And other times, my friends and I will set out for a day-long outing with a planned picnic along our route. Regardless of the duration or the difficulty of the hike, the result is always the same – I end up feeling incredibly peaceful and calm. A much different result than if I had thrown a party or hosted an elaborate dinner.

The next time you are thinking of ways to share time with your family and friends, consider hosting an unconventional nature hike. In the end, you will walk away feeling physically energized and mentally relaxed because of it. You may also be surprised by all of the new, interesting things you will learn about the people you care about.

{Thank you to my dear friend Masha who took some of these photographs while accompanying me on a, you guessed it, nature hike.}

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