Student Travel: 52 Hike Challenge on Instagram

September 30, 2015
Kayla Bernardino
3 min read

One aspect of travelling is the chance to be outdoors and get close to nature. Sometimes, as a young student, it is difficult to find a way to travel. One of our writers, Kayla Bernardino, wanted to share her story shedding light on the Instagram challenge to get outdoors more often. If you could take just one day a week to do something better for your physical health, relationships, and overall wellness, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it? It’s easier said than done, but imagine how amazing it would be to compile all 52 pictures of the hikes you have taken over a year and see the transformation right before your eyes. Hikes are affordable ways to reach many goals all at once.  Our group trip platform needs to spread the word and is happy to tell you about this wonderful reason to travel.

The Beauty of Hiking

Another day, another hike. A few weeks ago, I came across the hashtag #52HikeChallenge on Instagram. Essentially, the concept is to hike at least once a week for one year. The creators of the challenge (@52hikechallenge) state that the purpose is “to inspire and encourage individuals to step outside their comfort zone in order to achieve the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits that come from getting outdoors.”

Hiking really is more than a physical experience. It sounds cheesy, but for me (and like most avid hikers that I know), I instantly feel more connected to nature. The vast landscapes and breathtaking views remind me of how small I am in this world. Honestly, I’d say the majority of people can be pretty egocentric. Sometimes I get so caught up with work, school, and whatever else I’m involved in, I forgot to take time for myself. Then, I realize I’m just a small piece of the pie. A crumb, really. We feel the need to always be on the go, forgetting to relax and failing to remember that life will still happen if we want to take a breather.

When I was in middle school, I remember my older brother Julian and I talking about how life was like a video game. The idea was that when we fell asleep, the rest of the world stopped, similar to how we shut down or log off from a video game. As far as we know– when we leave a room, everything stops until we return. Of course this isn’t true, but it can definitely feel that way. We view life through our own lens and only see our immediate surroundings.

Personally, hiking causes me to remember to be thankful. The old adage that every day is a gift is true. There is so much to see and do, and every experience is something to appreciate. Unfortunately, we often forget this as we trudge through our daily lives.

That’s why this #52HikeChallenge really resonates with me. It’s a measurable goal (the best kind of goal) and a constant reminder to actually take in what’s in front of me. So put your computer down and stop answering emails. Instead, plan that group trip to another country with your family, or stay local and find the best hiking spot with your friends.

I think it was DaVinci who said that the average human “looks without seeing, listens without hearing, [and] touches without feeling…” What kind of person do you want to be? While traveling on the hikes and getting to know nature, you can feel like making a difference by bringing along a plastic bag with you to pick up any trash along the way. This way, not only are you helping yourself, you are also helping the environment. 

The challenge is a global movement to encourage people to get more fresh air, exercise, and take a moment to appreciate this wonderful planet we live on. If you are a student hoping to travel more, this challenge can be a start for ideas and to see more on a budget. The website has some great resources on how to find a trail and how to find a group near you. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and practice group travel. Follow the challenge on Instagram or their website for more information.