Opinion Pieces / The Latest

Getting outside

Some of the biggest stereotypes I hear about people who love books is that we are all shy, we love sitting at home and reading, we don’t like sports, we don’t like going out, and we are all introverted. Yet, like every community built on a common interest or love, there is beautiful diversity. Whilst there is nothing wrong with having any of the aforementioned traits, thinking that all writers, readers, and editors/proofreaders fall under the same introverted home-body category is just not true. As someone who doesn’t fit the general stereotypes of a book person, I am constantly told things like, “I just can’t imagine you as someone who likes to write/read/edit.”

Whether you stay indoors, whether you love getting out there, or something in between that is totally fine. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a good summary of stereotypes that I think applies to many different circumstances:

The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

So in challenging some nerdy book stereotypes I wanted to share some of my recent hikes with you.

This was my hike up the Uetliberg in Zurich, Switzerland. The first 30 minutes are hell. It is steep! However, this frosty day gave me some beautiful views like these:

I also recently bought some snowshoes and I have been testing them out at a few trails in the mountains near Interlaken. You don’t always need snow shoes, however, if you want to try a snow hike make sure you check the conditions. If you don’t, you can end up in waste deep snow without the proper shoes.

And this sunny hike from Steg, about 30mins from Winterthur also had some fuzzy animals to chat to along the way (yes, those are llamas):

Hiking and getting outdoors has been so great for me lately. It has helped me clear my head. It has helped me let go of some really toxic things in my life. It has made me feel proud of my achievements, and brought me a lot of inner calm.

If you want to start getting outside more, start slow and work your way up. My first hike was a horror. I was extremely unprepared for the climate and air; the air gets thinner the higher you go up. Getting used to that just takes practice. I remember I also stood in a deep muddy puddle at the top. I had to hike down the mountain with a COMPLETELY MUDDY WET FOOT. It was unpleasant to say the least.

So again, no matter who you are know that stereotypes are not the be-all end-all of your identity. If you identify with some stereotypes that also doesn’t mean you are a cliche either. Just know you are worth more than a stereotype.

Are you an outdoorsy reader? What stereotypes do you love or hate about the book nerd community? As always, share the reading love.

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