Emotion, mental well-being, and in the 3rd and final article of Getting Away From Hiking, we look into ‘social notworking’ in hiking. This is a terminology first being used here in Hiking Malaysia since networking largely associates with a purpose of why we engage in a network, and many a time that has to do with working outcomes eg business. The article will explore the formation of social groups, its social cohesion and how those ‘social notworks’ can serve as a lasting measure of emotional and mental stability and health.
GETTING AWAY FROM HIKING III - The Social Notworking
We are all familiar with the term social networking. And as the term directly states, it is about building friendships that have similar interest in career, interests, etc. We are introducing a new word here in Hiking Malaysia – social notworking. What this essentially means is there is not a purpose here in seeking a given objective that is dominant in social networking. And a key part of social notworking is there is no purpose and no passion to talk about work, the latter part of our lives we are trying to spend more time away from! Let’s look at social notworking in hiking.
The people that go hiking are usually people interested in walking, exploring, exercise, nature, etc. You can go to a hiking club or group and know that there is no focus on work and for you to be absorbed in any subject like birds, insects, plants, trails, sounds, exercise, and a variety of things that has no given purpose except to be part of a fun community.
Friends Only Hiking
We have different friends as we meander along our years of living. And we meet people that we embrace more into our personal lives. Some friends get to know a greater part of our lives – good bits and bad parts. In hiking, you can start to hike with like-minded people that enjoy walking and keep them at that, no further. You can choose not to admit them into your private life, and enjoy them as “Friends Only Hiking”. The decision you take puts you in control in deciding how much you want to open up to your hiking buddies. And if you decide at a time when you might be less interested in hiking, you have not left behind a ‘trail’ of your privacy and life.
Go With The Flow
There is a certain hiker that recently randomly researched and signed up for a hike to Gunung Bromoh. Firstly, what makes it very interesting is this person is going alone with no accompanying familiar face. Secondly, this person is meeting a group of other people she knows nothing of. And thirdly, this person is less prepared for the challenge in reaching the summit of 2,329 metres. And lastly, this person is female, and took the dare to go on her own. Her courage is to be admired considering the four factors. Yet she expressed that it is better to ‘go with the flow’ than to spend far too much time thinking about everything else that would likely convince her not to go to Bromoh! After all, it is a hike she is doing, not a house she is buying to live in. In essence, it is better to go and look to have fun and experience something new in a hike than to spend time worrying about everything else.
Even though you are hiking with others (recommended you do not do it alone unless the trail is frequently used by others during your hike), this is an opportunity to find ‘me time’ away from the group without leaving the people you are hiking with. Because you have no purpose in seeking to actively network, you can get lost in the walk with yourself, spending time thinking. It is a chance to focus and let your creative thinking flow. Many hikers, familiar with one another, invest time in conversations and getting to know each other. But it is different when you are less associated with a group. That ‘me time’ might just help you solve a chronic problem while you are hiking.