etopiei's blog

A blog about minimalism, programming, productivity and happiness.
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Reflections of Hiking

In the last few days I have hiked some of the Bibbulmun Track with my girlfriend, we started at Peaceful Bay and hiked for 4 days down to Denmark. Hiking together, while hard was a lot of fun, and throughout the trip I learnt a lot about gratitude and being present. First of all, I found when you have so little with you, the simple things are the best. Having a hot meal at the end of the day which we cooked, sweating away became an incredible moment, and not something that passes idly by while watching TV or browsing reddit. I took in the beauty of the world and appreciated that power of the ocean and the cool breeze through trees. I took nothing for granted, and when we arrived in Denmark and had our first dinner from a restaurant I loved the food, and the time that had gone into preparing it. This trip has truly made me appreciate what I have and given me cause to think, as to why we too often complain, or grumble, or be bitter, when really we have so much. In addition I found that one of the wonders of hiking is that it gives you the ability to properly unplug, I did send a snapchat each morning to keep my streaks going, but besides that and taking photos, I really didn’t have any interactions with the digital world for quite some time. This experience made me realise, not for the first time, the smallness of my problems and the way in which something that should be so small pervades every aspect of our life. This came into particular focus when we re-joined civilisation many days later in Denmark. I noticed people on their phones over breakfast with friends, people lying in the park, swiping and scrolling relentlessly. I was there too, back for the internet and comfort that I never really missed. I find it fascinating the relief we feel when we go without technology for a while, yet given the opportunity we indulge ourselves to ridiculous proportions. What is it we are looking for in all the futile taps and longing scrolls, and what could be found there that is not on beautiful beaches and rock faces. I think the ultimate answer to this question is human connection, we strive to have good relations with people and to feel love, and give it. Our connections are lacking, despite our efforts to remain constantly connected, and I think perhaps that is the point. It is unnatural to be always connected, to be constantly experiencing life vicariously through others, as though we are afraid we might miss something. All the while we do miss something, and it’s the most important thing. Our own lives. This is something I struggle with a lot, because I really do love spending time with technology, and it’s easy to get caught up in this world, but I think it’s important for me to remain grounded in my experiences and ensure I make the most of life. To quote Pierce Hawthorne, “I’m not leaving until I’ve cleared out the buffet”.

- etopiei (18/1/18) P.S. Cool date

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