Nothing beats getting out into nature, taking in a deep breath of fresh air and unwinding from the stress of our hectic modern lives.
I had an amazing opportunity to fully switch off and unplug on an incredible hiking trip in Vorarlberg, Austria recently, and you’ll see from my photos how relaxed and happy I was to be getting away from it all.
I was thinking a lot about how technology can make it difficult for us to truly chill out sometimes, and that everyone should be spending more time surrounded by trees and mountain views.
Luckily an incredible new campaign is making moves to get us all more active and spend more time outside again. The international non-profit organization It’s Great Out There is putting the inactivity epidemic in its crosshairs, and is looking to make sedentary lazy lifestyles a thing of the past.
When so many of us spend all of our days looking at screens, battling addictions to our phones, it’s really easy to forget that we live in a gorgeous world of indescribable beauty and that we should be experiencing it as much as we possibly can.
It’s like everyone’s favourite Beatle George Harrison once said – “Everyone should have themselves regularly overwhelmed by nature”, and going on how much I enjoyed hiking the mountainous region of Vorarlberg, Austria I have to agree! Getting outside in into nature is something anyone can do… It’s as easy as getting good walking boots on and stepping out of your door!
Sometimes though it can be hard to find a reason to do it. So many people would benefit so much from a more active, outdoors lifestyle, but our modern world makes it hard. Our jobs often involve sitting in front of a computer, entertainment often happens via a TV or a phone screen, and we find it hard to take a moment to get outside and simply breathe in forest air!
It’s Great Out There is supporting people to get more active and get outside with the already hugely popular #itsgreatoutthere hashtag.
Followers of the organisation are hosting sport events, starting running clubs, and using the hashtag every time they’re about and about in nature doing something awesome. Anyone can get involved.
Maybe there are some people in your local community who could do with getting active in nature a bit more often? It’s Great Out There can support you to create your own sports or activity club and really do something of value for the people in your community.
Spending many years in scouting I can only tell you how enjoyable doing something for the people who live near you can be!
The really amazing thing is that the entire campaign is motivated by the simple desire to get more European citizens outside, and enjoying being in nature. I was thinking about how great this campaign was while I was on my solo hiking journey through Vorarlberg, taking in the stunning views and enjoying that peaceful feeling you can only seem to get when you’re in utter silence in the great outdoors.
I’ve been taking hiking trips for a good few years now, and I’d like to see more travellers getting their sturdy footwear on and exploring the beautiful forestlands of Europe. I really hope the great success of It’s Great Out There goes even further and empowers thousands of Europeans to get of the sofa and get into the outdoors!
When you think about the benefits to your physical and mental health it has to be worth it for those reasons alone. Spending time in nature has proven health benefits for humans, and the boost to your system you get from a brisk hike through the woods gets your blood pumping and your endorphins flowing.
Not only that, hiking holidays and outdoor activities are extremely cheap ways to entertain you and your friends or family. Pretty much all you need for a European hiking trip is a lightweight tent and some sturdy boots! Getting outside and doing something energizing is also really great for family bonding. How many families these days hold treasured memories of campside fires and long walks through forests and fields? Probably not enough these days!
So when you’re planning your next outdoor adventure, be sure to use the #itsgreatoutthere hashtag when you post your beautiful nature pictures on social media to support the campaign. Treetops and mountains make for great Instagram shots that’s for sure! And I don’t think anyone could ever get bored of watching the sun rise or set…
Supporting the #ItsGreatOutThere campaign means you are contributing to a movement that could change lifestyles across Europe in such a positive way.
We all need to get outside and smell the daisies a bit more often, and after having so much fun in Austria I’m already planning my next big hike!
Thank you for reading my blog post: It’s Great Out There
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