Category Archives: Lifestyle

The best hiking shoes – my advice

There are fewer things that put you in touch with nature quite like a good hike and I have spent at least 2 or 3 weeks each year for the  last 10, on hiking trips around the world. I love to explore anyway and hiking enables you the complete freedom to discover the world around you in a way that car, bike and air travel simply cannot.

I always focus very heavily on what I buy when it comes to my hiking equipment and after many years of making mistakes in terms of what I took with me, I now have this down to a fine art. One such decision that I always find tough, is which hiking shoes to buy and it has only been very recently that I have got this decision just right. If you are in the market for some hiking shoes, here are the most important things that you need to consider before you even look at brands or models.

Size

Picking the size of your hiking shoes is not like when you shop for trainers or boots, where you can give yourself a little leeway, hiking shoes have to be just right. If you allow for space at the front or the sides then your feet will be moving around a great deal as you walk and this means blisters, something which could potentially ruin your trip altogether. If you have hiking shoes which are too tight, you will do terrible damage to your feet and end up with any number of problems. The reason why this is so difficult to gauge is that as you walk, your feet will swell so you must have a little bit of room free to allow for this. Try to find hiking boots which have around 0.5 centimeter of space on each side, this should be enough to give you feet space to swell and avoid them being too loose.

Design

Honestly, unless you are an Instagrammer looking for likes, leave the fashion choices at the door when you are picking your hiking boots. First of all you will usually find that the prettier the boots, the worse that they are and it is far better to focus on practicality rather than fashion. The second point to make is that even if you get some beautiful boots which fit like a glove, they won’t stay beautiful for very long once you hit the mud, dust and water.

Tough Decisions

When you are hiking, your feet are the most important part of the operation and you should look after them at all costs. If you have spent a pretty penny on some comfortable and durable hiking boots, and then after your first hike you realize that they are not suited to you, it is time to sell them. This is not easy to accept but the truth is that you don’t know how good the boots are until you have tested them. If you are not ruthless in this decision, you will only cause yourself more problems in the future.

Spend time on making the right choice and accept that you may not get it right first time.

 

Why I could live in Costa Rica

Last year I went with some buddies on a surf tour around Costa Rica and I immediately fell in love with the place. I know that this may sound as though I had  good time on my vacation and therefore think I could live there but the truth is that I saw more than enough of how this place works and operates, to believe that I could comfortably set up home there.

There are many ex-pats living throughout Costa Rica, they all seem to be very happy with their decision to move and here is why I think that I could comfortably join them one day.

Nature

The biggest draws of the country is the incredible nature which they have on offer and what I loved about it in particular was that it exists everywhere. I know that ‘nature’ exists everywhere but I am talking about incredible and varied natural settings which you find throughout Costa Rica. You don’t have to go very far to find yourself in the thick of the rainforest, surrounded by indigenous wildlife and miles away from the ‘real world’.

Weather

The weather here is pretty much always hot and sunny and even though there is a bit of humidity, I could definitely get used to the hot climate here. We did get caught in one rainstorm during our time here and when it rains, it really rains, I think however that the infrequent nature of the rain means that it would never really cause a problem.

Eco-Conscious

The Costa Rican government really do have eco-friendliness on their minds and the country is around 80% efficient, way more than any other country in the world. I am very environmentally conscious myself and I think that this way of life could really be attractive to someone like me. I love the fact that this is something which exists throughout the country and their focus on conservation and bio-diversity is something which makes the country highly appealing.

Adventure

Not only is this one of the best countries in the world that I have ever surfed in, it is also jam-packed with lots of other activities and for someone like me, this is absolutely perfect. I love the great outdoors and whether I am kayaking, climbing, caving or surfing, these kids of activities really make me happy. I love the wide range of activities that exist here and if I were to live here, I would most certainly spend a lot of my time getting active around the country.

Safety

If I were to bring my wife and young child down here I would need to ensure that they would be safe and the crime figures in Costa Rica most definitely suggest that they would be. I have rarely seen or heard about any high crime rates here and I felt extremely safe throughout my time in the country. Sometimes one needs to be a little pragmatic and safety is a high concern for anyone with a family, thankfully this seems like a really safe and secure nation.