The Dutch term wandelen is a bit difficult to explain in English. I’ve been told the term has a variety of definitions depending on who you talk to. I’ve often heard that wandelen is “taking a leisurely stroll out in nature. It’s to experience nature at it’s fullest and to enjoy the time outdoors.”
The Dutch definition of it is similar to “walking for sport.” It can be compared to a simple walk in the park or to a muliti-day trip with camping involved. More often than not a trail is used and specific locations are pinpointed.
I understand that not everyone can get to experience what wandelen is. But if you can take the time to go outside and take a walk, then you can have your own piece of wandelen.
So what is the point of wandelen? There can be many types of wandelen and it depends entirely on you as a person.
For those who exercise
Take a break from the gym and go on a walking trail instead. The outdoors will give you a good dose of fresh air. It’s also great to change up your workout environment to keep you engaged. Nothing excites me more than getting to see the local sights and sounds while I work out. I’m openly admitting that I don’t like working out but I do love taking long park walks!
For those who hike
Take a few good friends with you and at the middle of your journey take a break to share some stories. Prepare snacks before hand so that you can re-energize yourself. Typically the break would be anywhere from 20-30 minutes so pace yourself. This way you can both prolong your time outside and your time with your company.
For those who walk pets
If you’re like me and enjoy walking your pets outside, then wandelen can totally be your thing. Take a new route each time you go out so that both you and your furry friend can see new things. Wandelen is about the shared experience and if you both can discover new places to visit, then why not do it more?
For those who love to experience new things
If you just like add visited locations on your list then go on a wandelen trip to a place you’ve never been. One fantastic way to do this, is to visit a national park. If you can’t make it that far out then search for local hiking paths that lead to new adventures. I used to live close to a hiking trail that lead to a historical landmark. I have so many friends who have made that hike more times than they can count!
Wandelen is about the journey and what makes you feel at home in nature. Go out more and experience what the Dutch often do while on vacation. You don’t have to go out on a holiday yourself to have a wandelen experience! Just take the first step outside and see how it makes you feel! Wandelen is definitely for those who appreciate nature so do what’s best for you if you do decide to get out.