Ben Hikes
About Me

About Me

I often like to read “about” sections of blogs; it’s nice to fill in extra details about that person’s life. There’s always more sides to someone than the topic they are writing about.

So here we go. I’m a 28 year old (at time of writing) Briton. I grew up in Cornwall, in the South West of England. After university I spent a year in New Zealand, and I feel like that has set my trajectory ever since, having never properly returned home to the UK.

In New Zealand I spent some time getting to know a couple hiking the TA (Te Araroa), a trail which runs the length of the country. In the course of things they told told me all about the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) that they’d hiked a couple of years previously. I never knew such long paths existed. The idea caught in my mind from the start, and I pestered them with many mundane questions about long-distance trail life.

That was in late 2014. I returned to Europe, got a job, lived in a big city, and generally lived a normal (WEIRD) life. I began planning to hike the PCT, and I can say that it became the first real dream I’ve had. Fast forward 3 years to the 16th August 2018 and I was standing at the end of the trail. This is what really launched my love of hiking in the way I feel it today. Among many other things, this trip taught me that I have multiple qualities compatible with long-distance solo hiking. I didn’t get bored, I liked pushing myself physically and I didn’t miss “real life”.

The end of the PCT, August 2018

I realise that at the top of this page I wrote that I think “about” pages are a good place for people to share a little of their lives besides the topic of their website, and here I’ve rambled on about my hiking life. So here are a few details about me that I think paint a loose picture.

  • If I had to pick one group of books, it would be modern classics: John Steinbeck, George Orwell, Graham Greene, you get the idea.
  • I enjoy nuanced discussion, and by extension am a fan of the podcast offerings of Sam Harris, 80,000 Hours and Stephen Fry (among many others).
  • In my “real life” I’m a programmer. Mainly Android apps, but I’ve branched out somewhat.
  • I met my girlfriend at Hobbiton (NZ tourist attraction) where we worked together. We’re both still huge Lord of the Rings nerds.
  • A few years ago I started watercolour painting, and am glad that I took to it, having not really shown much artistic inclination when I was younger.

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