Walking buddy wanted

“Walking buddy wanted.” I suddenly read it this week in several groups on Facebook. And not only that. After a call on LinkedIn indicating I was looking for a walking buddy, as many as 25 enthusiastic women responded. I get it. It’s wonderful to go out on your own sometimes, but on the other hand, a hiking buddy is sometimes just a little cozier. It reminds us a bit of the “Covid” era, when many felt alone. And in addition, many people discovered walking. Let walking also be an activity where you get to know the other person really well in an easy and spontaneous way. So it’s a win-win situation.

Walking buddy wanted: my own story

First, let’s start with my personal story. After a difficult period in my life, I walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. Alone. I didn’t need a walking buddy, because I met the most amazing pilgrims, from all over the world, just spontaneously along the way. It actually just happened naturally. 2000 km and 3 months later, I decided to change my life completely. I founded WAW.travel, specializing in customized walking vacations, including the Camino to Santiago de Compostella. Every day I now help pilgrims on their way with all their questions about this special walk in Spain. A decision I haven’t regretted for one day.

Walking Buddy Wanted

Walking buddy wanted for the Walk of Wisdom

I had been walking around with the idea for a while and decided on a Thursday evening to just take the first step. On LinkedIn I posted a call: Walking buddy wanted. I am looking for 5 women to walk with me for 2 days on the Walk of Wisdom, a pilgrimage in the region of Nijmegen. The reactions were overwhelming. ‘Walking buddy wanted’ successful! Colleagues, former colleagues, friends, family and also a lot of women I never met before. Three walking weekends have already taken place. And we are in the process of redesigning this activity.

We made a common story

The first weekend was quite exciting. Who do I meet, will silences fall, do they click among themselves and does everyone have the same pace? I had worried myself unnecessarily. From the very first moment, a wonderful energy arose and conversations came naturally. Maybe even easier, because while walking you literally talk away. We had two wonderful days and some of the participants have since sought each other out and still walk together every now and then.

One of the participants sent me these beautiful words afterwards that perfectly sum up the weekend:

Unknowns became acquaintances

We walked a short distance together

We braved the rain

And we caught the sun’s rays

Passed fairy-tale places

Nature and culture

We shared stories and wisdom

And we made a common story

And I grant all women such an experience. All the women I see struggling to find balance between family and work, who have to rearrange their lives after a divorce, women who are searching for their “I”, who find it exciting to go on a walking trip alone, or who just want to get away from work or home life.

Walking Buddy Wanted 

Tip 1: Become a member of the Facebookgroup ‘Wandelmaatje gezocht’

Already know the Facebook group Wandelmaatje gezocht? An active Facebook group with enthusiastic hikers who are looking for a walking buddy. There are regular walks organized where you can join and meet ‘friends’ from the Facebook group live. There is also a section where you can find walking buddies or register yourself as a walking buddy.

Tip 2: Find your walking buddy on the World Wide Web

In the times we live in today, we find everything online (well, almost everything). There are several website where there is a supply of walking buddies. Just search Google for “walking buddy wanted”. Sportpartner, for example, not only connects walking buddies, but also if you are looking for a buddy for another sport. They already have more than 5,000 members. You can also organize something yourself, or join other (walking) organizers. There are walks in small or large groups. Go discover and choose what suits you best.

Tip 3: Join an organized walking holiday

Want to go on a walking vacation but don’t have a walking buddy? Then it is very easy to join an organized multi-day trip. Guided walking vacations are widely offered and signing up for one on your own is no problem at all. The very act of walking allows you to hang out as a group and not feel alone. You also often maintain valuable friendships because you experience something special together.

Walking Buddy Wanted

Tip 4: Look for it in your own neighborhood

In many regions and cities, there are regional walking associations or initiatives to walk together. For example, a Whatsapp group is created and anyone who feels like hiking posts a call in it. And then there are always others who want to join. Also very nice to get to know neighbours of course….
Or feel free to take a look at ‘meetup‘. The online place to discover nice activites and meet new people.

Finally, walking alone also has its advantages. You never have to compromise, you come more to yourself and it is easier to make contact with others. Most importantly: do what feels right for you!