5 Long Distance Hiking Trails Around The World

Hello my loves,

I hope this day is treating you well.

Today I’ve been thinking about all the long distance trails across the world after getting hooked on some beautiful creators thru-hiking on YouTube. After some deep diving into the world of thru-hiking, I have found some absolutely incredible trails to inspire your hiking adventures.


Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail & Central Divide Trail | USA 2650, 2180 & 3100 miles

Chinook Pass, Washington – Pacific Crest Trail

The holy grail of US long distance hiking is the Triple Crown – the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. These three hikes will each take between 4 to 6 months to walk, leading you through some of the best wilderness the US has to offer. But these are no easy task, steep ascents, river crossing, deserts and hiking through snow are just some of the challenges these three trails will throw at you. There is a huge community spirit on the trails and you’ll become hiker trash and learn the kindness of trail angels in no time.

Pacific Crest Trail Association has all the practical information you’ll need to prepare for your hike.


Great Himalaya Trail | Central Asia – 2849 miles

Trekking through Nepal – Great Himalaya Trail

This epic trail takes you across the greatest mountain range in the world, including the iconic Everest Base Camp trek and the Annapurna Circuit. As of 2019, only 93 hikers have registered as completing the full trail! There are many multi-day trails that make up the Great Himalaya Trail, so there really is something for every ability. From city walks around Kathmandu to the incredible Everest hike and everything in between. Explore cities and temples, rural villages and mighty mountains. Hiking in this part of the world is much more expensive and will require higher insurance premiums as many of the hikes are at high altitude, which also means generally a higher level of fitness is required for some of the harder routes.

For more information have a look at the Great Himalaya Trail website.


Te Araroa | New Zealand – 1864 miles

Te Hauke, New Zealand – Te Araroa

Completed over the warm months of summer in New Zealand, this long distance trail combines everything from beaches to mountains, cities to volcanoes, farmers fields to national parks. The trail is best tackled from south to north, walking on average 15 miles each day for 4 months. If that is too long for your hike, there are many multi-day section hikes for all abilities to enjoy.

Head over to the Te Araroa website for up-to-date information.


South West Coast Path | UK – 630 miles

Lands End, Cornwall – South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is a gem, and while it may not have the extreme landscapes or terrain of other trails, it certainly does deserve a place on this list. The UK’s longest trail takes you through some of the best seaside towns England has to offer such as Weymouth, St Ives and Falmouth as well as some areas of outstanding beauty including Exmoor National Park, Jurassic Coast World Herritage Site and Lands End. Taking just 2 months to complete, this can easily be fitted into the summer months.

There are maps, itineraries, accommodation options and much more on the South West Coast Path website.


Greater Patagonia Trail | Chile & Argentina – 1864 miles

Hiking in Argentina – Greater Patagonia Trail

One of the most beautiful trekking regions on the planet has got to be Patagonia. The Greater Patagonian Trail takes you through the diverse and challenging Andean mountains. Much like the Great Himalaya Trail, this South American trail is made up of more than 9,000 miles of smaller trail, including the world famous W-Circuit in Torres Del Paine National Park and the Fitzroy Massif. This trail system are some of the least developed in the world and should only be attempted by the most experienced hikers. Outside of the national parks, trails become vague and very few are signposted, so wilderness trekking, navigation and survival techniques are all needed if you are undertaking this incredible challenge. There are many tour companies which will take you on the more accessible routes and show you the most beautiful mountain the Patagonia has to offer.

Although there is no one organization that cares for the trail, this page on wikiexplora has the most in depth information available.


What long distance trail would you like to hike? I’d love to know your favourites.

Have a magical day.


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Dive In Style With These Five Cute Ocean Brands

We all want to have cute clothes that make us look and feel good, and that is no exception for diving! I’ve found some gorgeous brands that make ocean inspired swimwear, wetsuits, leggings etc etc to make your dive wardrobe that much cuter.

EXCEL WETSUITS X OCEAN RAMSEY

In collaboration with Ocean Ramsey, Xcel Wetsuits sell wetsuits, rashvests and leggings with ocean inspired prints including whale shark, tiger shark, water ripples and dolphins! Xcel Wetsuits use lots of eco initiatives including using recycled plastic yarn and repurposing old neoprene – you can read more about the steps they are taking to become more sustainable on here. Check out their Ocean Ramsey Collection and follow them on Instagram @xcelwetsuits.

LILJA THE LABEL

A Finnish swimwear brand with the cutest style one and two piece sets, there are so many styles, colours and patterns and best of all they are ethically made in Bali! Have a look at their full range at Lilja The Label or click on their About Us page to read all about the production and sustainable steps they are taking.

WATERLUST

One of the most popular dive leggings are from Waterlust – with many different ocean patterns and styles, it will be tough to pick just one. Waterlust also dontate 10% of their profits to the related cause, so when you buy something cute, you’ll know some money is going to research – find out more at Waterlust Causes. Their instagram is @waterlust and their full collection can be found on their Waterlust Website.

STAY WILD SWIM

Hello swimwear made from regenerated ocean plastics! Founded by Natalie Glaze & Zanna van Dijk, this London based company is eco-consious is everyway possible – carbon neutral shipping, no plastic packaging and making every piece in their London warehouse ensuring a real wage for the workers. Beautifully designed double layered bikinis and swimsuits, these swimwear pieces really are worth the price tag. Head over to their website www.staywildswim.com and follow them on instagram @staywildswim

NÜ WAVE

Started by Mads St Clair Baker, Nü Wave stocks swimsuits, sports bra & leggings, beach towels and rash vests. My favourite is the whale shark one piece but there are so many cute designs! Follow Nü Wave on Instagram @nuwave.co and check out her online store at www.nuwave.store

What are some of your favourite ocean brands? Share them below!

Why I Keep Travelling Rather Than ‘Settling Down’

I think about this a lot. Am I doing the right thing? Everyone around me has a house, or is getting married, or has a really great job they love, or a baby. And here I am, living job to job saving just enough to travel for a few months before getting another job. And so many people don’t understand it. And fair enough, I don’t even think I understand it yet. I just know that it’s what I know and it’s how I want to spend my time right now. Because really that is all we have – now.

What drives me to keep living this way is the thought of regret later in life. I could live to be 80 – or I could live until in 35. There is no way to know how long you are going to experience this one and amazing life, and I going to spend my time not fretting about the future – what if I don’t have any money? What if I have no pension? What if I never own a house? And to that I say so what? What is the worst thing that would happen? You will still be surrounded by your beautiful family and friends and you would have lead a life that you were proud of. And I don’t think you can ask for much more in life.

Of course, making a secure future for yourself is a smart way of thinking. But don’t let it overtake your life. Don’t let it become your life – planning for your future life while missing out on what you have right now. Live more consciously, does this job make me happy. Does sitting in every night watching TV improve my life. Or are you just cruising through, stuck in a monotonous routine of working, eating, sleeping. Is that living? Or is that what society has told you is ‘successful’?

I’m not sure what my point is here, but I guess what I’m saying is, you have to live your life for you. If business is your thing, go get it. If it’s knitting, good for you. For me, it’s travel, and damn right I’m going to spend the time that I have now, the only time we truly have, doing something that makes my heart sing and brings incomparable joy to my life. The future is promised to no-one. We talk and plan and invest in our future like it’s guaranteed, but it isn’t. And once you realize this, you start making time to see your loved ones. Making time to take that trip. Making time to start that new hobby. To do the things that make you happy.

And if I get to 70, and I live in a tiny house with arthritis, not able to leave my home, I’ll be able to remember the time I said fuck it, and saw the sunrise from fifty countries, swam in oceans so blue, danced all day until my body ached and, in the words of Jack Kerouac, climbed that goddamn mountain.

Making A Positive Impact : The Great Barrier Reef

This series is about practical ways travelers can help make a positive impact on the areas they visit.

Hi my beautiful,

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef was an incredible experience I will never forget. The whole experience brought me so much joy, exploring such a special corner of our planet has really been a dream of mine for so many years. And the sadness I feel when I hear of its degradation really breaks my heart. Enjoying the reef should be a joy experienced for generations to come. So if you are planning to visit this natural wonder of our world, here are a few tips to make sure your visit safeguards its beauty for many more years.


Choose An Accredited Company

There are a few key signs to look for if you want to choose an eco-friendly company. Ecotourism Australia and EarthCheck both provide two levels of certification in which tour operators can commit to using sustainable practices and high quality tourism experiences. These companies are actively protecting the environment by adhering to safe practices and maintaining the high standard of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). You can see the list of approved operators on the GBRMPA website.


Follow The Responsible Reef Practices

There are some basic rules to follow when in the water, whether you are snorkelling or scuba diving, these few guideline will save not only the reef from harm but also yourself. Here are just a few points to remember while on the reef.

  • Practice good scuba diving – have good buoyancy, be aware of your equipment and move slowly
  • Avoid holding or touching any part of the reef, including corals and animals
  • Observe animals like whales or turtles from a safe distance
  • Enhance the quality of your dive experience by learning about the environment you’ll visit
  • Don’t take anything from the reef including dead coral or shells

See the full list of responsible reef practices at GBRMPA.


Contribute To Citizen Science

As the reef is so large, it is quite a challenge for scientists to collect frequent information across the entire length of the reef, and that is where citizen science (and you!) come in. ‘Eye On The Reef’ is a way for every visitor to contribute towards the long-term protection of the Great Barrier Reef by recording animals sightings, reef health data and other valuable information. However you are enjoying the reef, you can join in with citizen science by downloading the Eye On The Reef app and start contributing immediately to data collection. You can submit locations of animal sightings, photos of what you have encountered like marine pollution or coral spawning and it can also help you to identify the wildlife you come across.


Fight For The Planet

The biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change caused by humans. And this will only change with action. So start right now to help give the Great Barrier Reef a fighting chance of survival. So here are just a few things to do today for a better future.

  • Make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Commit to only taking one long haul flight per year
  • Change your diet to include more local produce and less animal products
  • Have your say at local council meetings and elections
  • Vote with your money by researching companies sustainability pledges.

I hope when you visit, you will take the time to explore the reef with the care it deserves and let it inspire you to help change its future.

All my love x


Hiking Up Vulcan de Pacaya in Antigua | Guatemala

I woke early, pulled on my clothes and grabbed my bag, thankful I had packed the night before. In my sleepy haze I brushed my teeth and left my hostel, waiting outside for the minibus to arrive. We hopped in along with a few others and begun driving, parking up before we had even drove for five minutes. The guide opened the sliding door and said a few words of Spanish, gesturing to the coffee shop across the road. ‘Ten minutes’ he repeated in English when there was no response from the seats. I stayed put, not wanting to move from my seat and closed my eyes. In what seemed like a few moments, the van was twisting and turning up narrow village paths. We arrived in a small car park and we shuffled out, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. We were told to queue up and buy our ticket from the small counter, use the bathroom and find our guide for the walk and off we set.

Top tip : Before setting off on your hike, buy a stick from one of the children at the entrance, it will help steady you at the top and on the way down.

The hike began fairly easy, a earthy path surrounded by plants and trees, the sun shining through. But after ten minutes, the path become steep and uneven, I quickly fell to the back of the group. I didn’t mind, the shade was lovely and watching for birds and other small creatures while I took sips of water. The guide would stop every so often, giving a chance for us to regroup and stop at the lookouts. A woman with a gentle smile followed at the back of the group with a horse, occasionally asking if we wanted to ride the rest of the way, but most of the time quietly walking with the sound of hooves. The walking was hard, but after 40 minutes, the tunnel of trees gave way to large expanses of loose black rock. Rounding the corner and reaching the final climb, Vulcan de Pacaya stood, towering above us with steam billowing from the top. ‘Wow’. ‘Right!’ the girl next to me said, before powering up the final ascent.

Crossing over a lava flow to reach the finish.

We clambered over the lava flow, being careful to step on the flat rocks – it was this point I was glad I had bought a stick off the child at the entrance, it came in useful for balancing over the unsteady terrain. And then I turned to look at the view. The view was spectacular, with three volcanoes
(Acatenango, Agua, & Fuego) rising from the Earth, it really was amazing. The sun made them look so detailed and smoke spewed from them. It was then I realized – I was standing on an active volcano. And then I was told, the lava flow I was currently standing on was made only a month before which the guide then followed up with ‘Who wants marshmallows?’

Top tip : Take the morning tour – it is usually cooler, has less cloud cover and a lower chance of rain.

The view from the top.

Sure enough, he produced a big bag of fluffy marshmallows and proceeded to poke them onto sticks. We made out way to some of the volcanic rocks, and boy could you feel the heat. He prodded the gravel and a glowing red center was reveled, allowing us to toast marshmallows on an active volcano. Now that’s something you don’t do everyday! After eating the warm treats and taking many photos we slowly made our way back down the volcano, being careful to take our time and not slip down the loose rocks. On the way, our guide handed me a piece of lava which he had collected for each of us, a little souvenir of our hike up one of Guatemala’s beautiful volcanoes.

Roasting marshmallows from the heat of the lava.

HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF! 

When in Antigua or Guatemala City, ask at your accommodation for the best tour recommendation. The tour should cost about 100Q ($14) and will take up to 6 hours return. There is a 50Q ($7) entrance fee and its 5Q for a walking stick. The hike itself is 8km return and will take about an hour to reach the top. Horses will follow your group half way and will cost extra if you decide to take one to the top. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and take a hat and water for the trip.

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