Welcome to our series of articles on Hiking, Camping, and Relationships. This is our third installment. If your starting out here you might want to go back and start reading at the first article here.
Long Drives, quiet hikes, and no distractions for days:
In everyday life we have millions of distractions, entertainment at our fingertips, and very little down time. You can be dating someone, and after the initial, on the phone all night getting to know each other spell, not really talk much. You have a million other things to do other than talk to each other. When all that is taken away do you truly enjoy each other’s company? Will you run out of things to talk about or will you find yourselves communicating on new levels. Will you find that you don’t particularly enjoy what the other person talks about. Or perhaps your partner will be annoyed at your passionate discourse on things that interest you. Will silences be comfortable and peaceful or will you feel the anxiety of an actor who has forgotten his lines.
Patrick and I can talk all day or enjoy hours of silence together. Our long hikes have allowed us to get to know each other on a deeper level. Like time in the shower, or the time right before you drift off at night, hiking is a time when our minds wander and explore new ideas. When you are hiking with your partner you verbalize those ideas, those philosophical questions, those hopes and dreams, and your partner gets to share in that with you.
With four little kids, this time with just the two of us, and no distractions, is invaluable to us. We find ourselves as desperate for our backpacking weekends as we would be for water in the middle of an August Grand Canyon hike. With the noise level of four little kids half the time we can’t even form a coherent thought never mind having a deep conversation. After two weeks of that we start to feel frazzled and disconnected from each other. After a weekend in the wild though we come back refreshed ready to be better parents and feeling that deep connection we have for each other freshly charged.
Read the next article in our series here.