For a two weeks trek in Corsica, what mindset should you adopt ?
The GR20 is famously known throughout Europe for its severe paths and rough landscapes. A 180km long trek, with about 10 000m of positive, and obviously, negative elevation. A journey so beautiful and exotic, that while up there, keeping track of time is almost impossible. Each day has its own agenda. For fourteen days, weekdays as you know them, will become a distant concept.
Hiking as an experience
I wanted to make an article, that is more focused on what you will feel and experiment, than what you’ll need to succeed. In other words, I won’t talk about the preparation and the material required for this trek. Of course, all of that is important, and you can find it on some wonderful blogs like this one I used. The purpose of this article is to explore multiple ideas that came up while walking.
Walking induce thinking
Walking is good for the body, even better for the mind. No matter how sportive you are, no matter the reasons that motivated you into walking for fourteen plus days. You will be pushed hard into your thoughts. A good thing, right ? Sure, you’ll be with friend(s) talking about various stuff, but most often than not, you’ll be talking to yourself, introspectively speaking. It can relate to anything, really. To me it was some simple questions like, what really is important to me ? what value do I give to what I own, to what I do ? all that existential nonsense. It can be heavy, you have been warned.
Discomfort is mandatory
When you walk for two weeks straight, sleeping in a small tent, on a hard ground, you start to realize that comfort is something that has to be confronted to, in order to have a real value. In our regular lives, we tend to forget what comfort is, simply because we get use to it. Being at ease all the time, fixes a high boundary of what comfort should feel like.
Imagine buying a new mattress for, say, five hundred euros. This mattress defines to you what real comfort is, but only for a certain period of time. Then you’ll be used to it and you’ll forgot how fluffy it is. Next thing you know you’ll need a new one, costing ten thousand, just to set your boundary higher. It’s a never ending loop. That’s why it is so import to actually know what discomfort really is.
A wor(l)d on variety
Variety is something we think we understand, but we don’t. When you show landscapes as various as the ones you come across in Corsica, everyone will tell you how beautiful and diverse they are. There is a consensus about it. No matter our beliefs, our origin or our political ideas. It is within us, there’s no debate, no philosophical interpretation, we would all agree on the wonders nature provides. And I strongly believe, that beauty doesn’t only come from nature in itself. It comes from variety.
In order to really grasp what I intend to say, you can imagine two forests. The first one would be tropical, untouched by humans with thousands of different tree and animal spices. A forest so vast and diverse that you could feel the warm wind on your skin, hear the birds twitting, see plants and animals with infinite colors. All your sens would be aroused at once. The second one would be a tree plantation. Picture a huge field with one and only type of tree, say, a regular fir. Now you are in front of a thousand firs, each one planted at the same distance from the other. How boring for your senses that would be ?
We instinctively crave for diversity. Because it is what makes our senses more solicited. And since beauty is directly related to our primal senses, diversity is a natural need, requested by our brain.
diversity, why ô why?
To conclude, I’d like to emphasize on diversity. Not only from a “natural” perspective, but in general. Diversity is richness. It should be embraced as such, on every form. Diversity makes us think, change, move and grow. You have to be open to ideas that could crush your beliefs. On this particular trek, you’ll meet different people, share ideas, life stories, discord and much, much more. So, if the diversity in the landscapes doesn’t struck you, maybe the uniqueness of the people you’ll meet will.