Hi and welcome to my hiking blog.
You might think:
- What is Nature of Sal?
- Who is this Sal person anyway?
- How dare he claim it’s his nature, and why did I end up on this website?
Let me explain:
This space is for those who never made it beyond considering going for a hike but then gave up because they didn’t know where to start.
It is also for more experienced hikers looking for inspirational trails and experiences in Italy.
My goal is also to inform, inspire, and share the joys of hiking with a wider audience, which includes you!
If you stick around for the ride, you’ll get answers to the following questions:
- How do I prepare for my first hike and how to prepare for different scenarios in general?
- What are the best hiking trails in Italy?
- Why is hiking such a great way to stay fit, get in shape and detox your system?
- What hikes are available with public transport?
- How do outdoor activities reduce stress and make you more focused, relaxed, healthy, and happy?
- Pro gear, tools, and hiking trails for advanced hikers
- Is hiking for me and what kind of hiker am I?
- How do I become a responsible hiker?
- What are the best apps for hiking?
- And much more!
But first things first. Where are my manners…
I am Sal. Nice to meet you! 👋
Nature and I had a bit of a turbulent relationship over the years. In a way I was lucky to be surrounded by nature as a kid, growing up in Southern Germany.
I remember my first outdoor experience, at the age of six, when I secretly sneaked away from my parents to explore the Northern part of town – resulting in a police search and all.
At twelve my father caught me riding the bicycle, alone, on a highly trafficked road, trying to visit my grandparents who were living in the Swabian Alps at the time.
Not exactly a safe endeavor. That little adventure ended with the confiscation of my bike and a ride back home in my father’s work truck (on top of that I was grounded to my room for a few days).
You might start to recognize a pattern here.
Smaller and bigger adventures followed, and I really enjoyed climbing up trees in the neighborhood, and I still have some great childhood memories such as participating in trail runs (as an amateur) in the mountains of Abruzzo, and swimming in a valley river in Sicily.
But eventually, I had to grow up.
Like many people, I started to "work" on my career. School. Work. University. Corporate job. The full program.
I became a state-certified graphic designer. Then I did my Bachelors in Media Informatics. I worked in an international media company.
In my early twenties, despite having achieved most of my career goals, I was left feeling unhappy and uninspired.
Eventually, I had to confront the elephant in the room: why am I not satisfied even though I have a good job, a great partner, make a decent amount of money, live in a great city (Munich at the time), and have great friends?
I couldn’t find the answer, but I felt that something was wrong.
So I opted for the nuclear option.
I quit my job. I left my apartment. I left everyone behind.
I went hitchhiking. 👍🚗
The experience I made probably deserves separate blog posts, but my travels brought me to Spain, where I signed up for a pilgrimage from Barcelona to Santiago and Finisterre, ending up in Northern Africa, and eventually in Italy.
Rome became my new home.
New adventures ensued, new friends, new experiences, new challenges.
I was lucky enough to be able to work with my three passions: Nature, Music, and Tech.
I am looking forward to sharing my experiences, thoughts, and passion with you.
But I also love to hear from you and enter into a conversation, an open dialogue so-to-speak, which will benefit everyone.
This is Nature of Sal.