There is a Serbian proverb that defines the very foundations of human behaviour:
„If there is a wish, there is a way. If there is no desire, will find an excuse.“
I’m sure you all know people who are “listeners”. When you talk to them about your hiking adventures, they listen attentively and seem interested. When you show them your beautiful photos, they will give you some quite expected comments: “Your pics are awesome”, “Great, who did you go with?”, “Call me next time you go.” And when you invite them to spend a weekend to remember, I guarantee that one of the excuses below will follow, to explain the seriousness of their inability to respond to your invitation. Therefore, I see this as our little hikers’ mission of motivating them to get their focus back on the fresh air, physical activity and getting to know the hidden corners of Serbia.
These are totally unjustified excuses to stay at home instead of enjoying nature and good company.
I’m too old for it.
- It’s never too late to start hiking. Even if you are an elder person and wish to go on a hiking trip, do not hesitate. Many hiking clubs have members of your age and organize trips that are adapted to your physical readiness.
I’m not in shape.
- And you never will be, until you eventually start! The description for each hiking trip says how much physical readiness is required, so for starters – choose a shorter and lighter trip. Also, find out about hiking clubs and choose the one that offers something that suits your pace. If you are afraid that you will fall behind the group, go with some friends or a find a reliable guide, they will never leave you alone. There are also good blogs that can help in gathering ideas and necessary information. 🙂
I have no time.
- Of course we all have obligations. Whether you go to school or have a job, you always seem to be missing some time. The key is good organization. Try measuring how much time per week you spend on internet surfing, “poking” the phone or watching TV. Hikers are people of all professions and statuses – doctors who come from the night shift straight to a hiking trip in the morning, or families taking small children or carrying them in special backpacks. Anyone can afford an occasional one-day trip over the weekend.
I have no money.
- Sometimes you don’t need any money to climb a nearby hill or mountain, depending on where you live. Hiking groups are mainly non-profit organizations and for one-day trips with them you need as little as what you would spend on a round of drinks when you go out. Of course, for trips that take more than one day, or special / extreme tours you need a bigger budget. Still, you should know that a one-day trip with a hiking group costs 1200-2000 dinars, which most people can handle financially.
I have no equipment.
- To start, you only need some old sports shoes, a backpack and sweat suit. Everything else you will get in time and in line with your wishes and possibilities when it comes to more demanding hiking trips. Many hiking clubs make deals with sports stores and based on the membership card, you can get a discount on hiking equipment.
How do I actually go hiking?
- A lot of people mentioned this issue as a trump card for their way out of hiking. Most hiking groups and agencies have websites where the hiking activities are announced in advance and with little exploration, you can easily get the basic information. Also, you have the option to arrange a weekend in the quiet and well-kept beautiful regions of Serbia yourself, with very little effort.
I am afraid of wild animals!
- Serbia is inhabited by a very small number of animals threatening human life. Animals have significantly better senses and can hear, see and smell a human very well. As soon as we enter their territory, they run for cover. Just like in the cartoon, with the famous sentence: “Humans are in the woods, run!” So the chance of meeting them is very small, particularly in lower areas, and this certainly should not be a reason to spend your weekend in a shopping mall.
I have no one to go with.
- Hikers are known as particularly sociable people. If you do not have a partner for trips, already on the first trip you will meet a lot of people who are very friendly and like to make new acquaintances. On subsequent trips you will be meeting the same people, but also some new ones. Be open to new friendships and you’ll soon start organizing joint excursions, and start socializing outside of hiking tours.
Hiking club “Pobeda” above the Djerdap gorge
I’m tired, I need a break.
- I must admit that jobs are getting more demanding, and working hours are getting longer. Certainly, in these new circumstances sometimes we all feel tired. But if that is the case every weekend, then it is more of an excuse than a real state. Very often the reluctance and reduced energy result from a lack of physical activity. As much as the advice seems illogical, shake your body and activate yourself a little. Hiking is one of the best solutions, because it can be adequately dosed and adapted to all ages and conditions. Also, it happens out in the fresh air, and in a beautiful environment.
So there is no good excuse, pack your rucksack and hit the road!