Hi, I'm Brendan
I'm an Australian that has spent the last 7 years living in Vancouver, London and now Amsterdam. My wife and I go hiking as much as possible, with a goal of spending 50 days a year in the mountains. This was very achievable when living in Vancouver, but requires more effort since we've been in Europe.
Our hiking adventures started as regular day trips, then moved to overnighters and finally longer multi-day trips. Since moving to Europe, we’ve explored an incredible variety of multi-day hiking trails. From the fjords of Norway, deserts of Jordan, moon-like terrain of Iceland, Berber trails of the High Altas in Morocco and grandstand peaks of the Alps.
Chartered Accounting is my trade, with expertise in banking regulatory calculation systems. I spent the first 10 years of my career helping big companies transform themselves, to keep pace with changes in technology and regulatory developments. Recently, I left to spend more time doing what I love.
During my many years of convincing others to go hiking, I've found a few common problems that prevent people from going. I believe I can solve these problems using advances in technology and remove any fear, uncertainty and doubt from hiking trips.
The Haute Route was a life changing hike for me and therefore I've decided it will be my first project to provide solutions that help all future hikers prepare and hike with confidence.
Happy Hiking, Brendan
Hiking for love, not money
I’ve done a lot of things in my life because it would ultimately help me make more money. Hiking is not one of them. I go hiking because it grounds me to our planet, inspires my life, provides natural therapy to resolve my troubled mind, all while giving me a workout that keeps my body in tip top condition. I go hiking for love, not money.
Hiking is the best way to appreciate the size, beauty and fragility of our planet. My favourite hikes are those that take me into the clouds and let me gaze across mountain ranges and valleys guiding glacial streams. I can sometimes see cities below that seemed never ending when I’m within them but are reduced to a minor part of the panorama from the top of my mountain stage. It is when I’m out hiking that I think about how sustainable my living has been and make promises to do better so generations after me can continue to experience the wonder of our planet's natural beauty.
Hiking inspires me to challenge the status quo of life. Each new trail leads into the unknown with a different gallery of glaciers, rock formations, forested valleys, mountain top vistas, waterfalls and crooked coastlines. It’s during these hiking adventures that I overcome the fear of the unknown and challenge myself to test the boundaries of what I know to be safe and familiar. My perspective on what is possible changes as I hike through new landscapes and I start to think about areas in my life that could do with a shake up and a venture into the unknown. Going on a hike transforms me into a more inspired version of myself and one that is ready for positive change when I leave the trail.
John Muir stated that ‘In every walk with nature, one receives far more than they seek’. I know this to be true as hiking provides me with a natural therapy that cleanses my mind, body and spirit. The landscapes I explore make me feel small in the world, putting any troubles that are all consuming in daily life into the context of their impact on the world around me...It helps me to not sweat the small stuff. The trails directs my mind on the task in front of me, bringing the traffic jam of thoughts to a stop as my attention focuses on the challenge at hand. As I establish a hiking rhythm on the trail, I slowly start to unpack any thoughts on my mind with the fresh mountain air, inspiring landscapes and detachment from daily life providing clarity of thought. Hiking provides me with a therapy unlike any other found in our city walls.
Humans are designed for walking, in fact our survival depends on it! Hiking is my favourite way to achieve a healthy daily step goal while getting my heart rate up. Given I live in a city, my daily exercise consists of a run, gym and/or yoga class which can be quite monotonous. Hiking allows me to replace these routines with climbing mountains, descending valleys and traversing alpine balconies. Exercising in nature provides an extra endorphin kick for life that I can’t get in the built environment. Best of all, hiking is a free, indiscriminate activity that can be enjoyed by all.
There is much more I could say about why I love hiking...but think it’s better if you just give it a try or get back on the trail to experience the benefits for yourself. Go hiking for love, not money.