As the year winds down, I have had several people ask me what drives my passion for hiking and others wonder which part of Uganda I haven’t been to?
Honestly, I often smile when I hear these questions because I get to share my experiences and try to motivate them to tag along for the next trip or plan their trips.
One of my driving forces has always been the fact that I often find more than I seek in these different areas I travel to. Not only do I get the chance to immerse myself in the beauty of nature but I also get to listen to the stories from the locals which have often been priceless.
The story of the two love lakes and the octopus in Bunyaruguru has topped my list all year, and if it wasn’t for indulging the guides, I’m pretty sure I would have never heard it.
Hiking has also been that stress reliever for me, it’s like the happy hormones start circulating through my bloodstream with every passing meter. Don’t get me wrong, some hikes can beat the life out of you, for example, the Kapchorwa hike had me asking myself whether it was worth it but in the end it was because the joy I received when I saw Cheptoi falls is one I couldn’t easily put in words.
Some of these hikes have strengthened my mental power. As long as the battle isn’t lost in the mind, the body can keep pushing. I remember the first time I climbed Rwenzori Mountain, I had zero fitness levels and it was my mind that kept me going until the last day. What’s surprising was, I had messed up my knee on the second day of hiking but I kept pushing my body to new limits. I guess it’s true what Kipchoge said, “no human is limited” because I made it to the seventh day.
There are so many beautiful places and stories in Uganda and I only feel like I have barely scratched the surface despite traveling the most this year. What’s funny is some of my friends are always surprised when they see me in Kampala. They often say, “ain’t you supposed to be in some forest or mountain somewhere?”
I am one with nature and every time I spend time with it, the more it keeps calling. The sound of hundreds of birds chirping, the jaw-dropping views and the tranquility are a match made in heaven, it’s no wonder I can’t get enough of it. It’s like oxygen to me.
Albert Einstein once said, “look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ” The next time you feel stressed out or in need of an escape, try immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.
I only hope my experience will give you the motivation to try out hiking.