Education should not be all about books and being locked to a desk for days on end. There is much talk of late about a rounded education and educating the whole person. This can be achieved in a number of ways. No one is saying that formalised book learning and lectures don’t play an incredibly important part in education, but education in the form of experience should not be discounted. Many further education establishments now seek other ways to distinguish between candidates than just exam results and life experience really counts.
Getting out there
Full-time education is largely a young person’s game and what better time is there in life to get out and enjoy the great outdoors whilst deepening learning experiences? Students often enjoy adventurous holidays and these can be a great learning experience. Anyone studying geography, history, geology or environmental studies and indeed a host of other subjects can get an enormous amount out of walking holidays. There is a variety of fascinating landscapes whilst having the added advantage of keeping fit and getting some exercise. Sometimes the best way of understanding an environment and its make-up is by actually experiencing it.
Activity holidays can give added value, especially for groups participating together. Camaraderie and team building can be very important lessons learned in adventurous activities. Looking after the group is a very worthwhile and rewarding experience, which can be a valuable life lesson to carry away long after the pulse has stopped racing. Of course, it should not be forgotten that adventurous holidays are enormous fun and that can be a boost to education in any case. Once the next semester starts, students feel rested and ready for the challenges of a new term.
The great thing about holidaying outdoors is that enjoyable experiences and gorgeous countryside can usually be found close to home meaning that walking and activity holidays can be extremely good value. Apart from a sturdy pair of boots and some basic equipment all you need is a pair of legs to enjoy a walking holiday. There are a number of excellent publications on the market that offer suggestions for routes and tours in a number of different regions. These can be a good source of inspiration and also open up possibilities for destinations very close to home that might never have been considered.
This type of holiday is by definition physical in its nature. Anyone thinking of a holiday of this kind should be sure that they are fit enough to enjoy it without causing themselves any health problems. One of the great things about walking is the beneficial exercise to be had. For those who are not sure whether a walking holiday is for them, why not try building up to it by walking every day and gradually extending the duration?
Embarking on more physical holidays without the right preparation is always a bad idea. For those who might be considering camping, make sure the tent you choose is up to the conditions you are heading into. A trip into the Scottish mountains might be lovely, but camping there in a cheap, flimsy tent will probably not be much fun. Similarly, going into a long trek wearing cheap or ill-fitting walking boots is a recipe for blisters and pain.
Gilbert writes regularly on walking holidays for a range of travel websites and blogs.