My Hiking Pals

Asha and Arya are straight up my favourite pals to be with on a trail. There is a solitude that I like when hiking but I don’t like to be completely alone. I enjoy the company of my family and friends but when I am alone there is more of an opportunity for self-reflection and contemplation.

I hike to relax and to be present in the moment and take in all of the sights, sounds, and smells on my time and not anyone else’s. I feel adventurous when I am on my own and it is the independent nature of who I am that makes me want to complete the challenge of a trail on my own.

My dogs are great listeners as I babble to myself (them) about what is on my mind. I like that they don’t respond. I sometimes just need to talk things out to search within for answers to my problems. Unconditional love and no judgement is what they give me.

As I have come further along on my mental health path, silence has become more important to me. I wonder if it is possible to switch from an extrovert to an introvert? At one time, not even that long ago I was energized by being around people but now, I need the opposite.

During lunch at work I seek out a comfy chair and read a book. I am still usually around people but I don’t engage nearly as often. I still sit and chat with people but my mind calls for a book most often instead.

I have been questioning my new found desire for solitude because I spent 34 years needing to be surrounded by other people. I don’t completely go out of my way to avoid interacting with people and I still play well with others. I just need to be alone to re-energize. This is a lot to wrap my head around after 34 years of doing the complete opposite.

If I could spend the whole day with my dogs, I would. I wish we had Take Your Dog to Work Day. Wouldn’t that just be the best! Arya and Asha are amazing supports for me and I love exploring the outdoors with them.

Look how happy and tuckered out Asha is

Like I said before, I love the company of my family and friends while hiking. I just need prepare for a different mindset during that time. People who join me must like large dogs and tolerate country music – and we will get a long just fine!

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