Who Am I and What’s in Store for This Year?
Howdy, Hello and Grüezi
Who am I?
My name is Johanna Willi and I’m 24 years old. I grew up in the beautiful Swiss Alps, so mountains were my playground from an early age. In 2018, a big dream came true! I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. Since then, I’m also better known on trail as “Tinkle.” Never ever have I felt this alive in my entire life. I can clearly say, it was the best time of my life and I would do it instantly again!
My passion is hiking, but I also love photography, cooking, writing, and painting. Currently, I’m attending Art School in Zurich. The trail made me realize that I should go my own way. It still feels new to me to begin an unconventional path in life, but it’s exciting to try out new things. See more about my hikes and art on Instagram @tinkle.hikes or my blog tinklehikes.com.
I’d love to take you with me on my hiking adventure this summer, to inspire and encourage you to go big, follow your dreams, and go outside!
Why do I love hiking?
On the PCT, I fell in love with long-distance hiking and I’ve been on trail every summer since. Being on the trail makes me feel strong, independent, and so small at the same time. Time is ticking slower out there and a day has way more than 24 hours. You get bigger gratitude for the small things in life, like a warm shower or an apple. Strangers you meet on the trail become tramily and then best friends. It’s the feeling of living totally in the moment and forgetting what’s going on everywhere else! I’m always super impressed with how far you can hike in a day, it’s more than you think and you get a totally different angle of what distance really feels like. Also going with the sun just feels so natural and gives you much more appreciation to Mother Nature!
It’s a different lifestyle and I just love it! I think everyone should try it once in their lifetime.
Another topic that’s very important to me, don’t let your fears stop you from trying out new things! We all have fears and that’s normal. It’s a process of turning fear into respect. You know, I’m still scared sometimes when I’m camping by myself and I hear noises from outside the tent. It needs time to adjust, maybe you don’t sleep that good that night, but in the morning I feel more powerful. Because I didn’t let my fear come through and that’s a damn good feeling! Try it out and let me know, I’d love to hear your stories.
What’s in store for this year?
As you all probably know, this whole situation makes it kinda hard to plan something. That’s why I made a list of trails that I might wanna do this summer. So there’s the Colorado Trail in the states, the Kungsleden in Sweden, the GR 11 in Spain, or any trail here in Switzerland. I tried as long as possible not to choose and just start planning. But it’s hard, I just like to research and prepare for the trail. Actually, that’s quite an important part of the whole journey for me!
I kept quiet a while with an eye on the GR 11. The trail starts at the Atlantic sea, crosses the Spanish Pyrenees, and ends at the Mediterranean Sea. What a stretch! I like trails with fascinating start and endpoints. Imagine walking from sea to sea, pretty cool to me 🙂 Another good thing about the trail is the length, it’s approximately 830km/ 515mi. Therefore, it takes probably around 5-6weeks to complete it, which is perfect for me. Plus, I thought that a trail in Europe is more likely possible than overseas. That’s why I recently bought the guidebook! I just want to look forward to something and planning a hike just makes me happy 🙂 I don’t know if it will happen, but I have big hopes!
Anyway, I will be hiking this summer. Hope you follow along with me!
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