12 Provinces Walking Challenge

The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer and the flowers are arising from the buds. I am having an urge to go outside. My body cries to begin to move, but what shall I do?

About a year ago, Suzanne and I decided to go to Giethoorn for a weekend. We wanted to get away for a while, without having to arrange and plan too much. We ended up in a B&B on a farm in Overijssel, a province in the Netherlands. During our weekend in Giethoorn, we discovered how close nature is and how beautiful the Netherlands actually are.

Inspired by walking in the fresh air, we came upon an idea. We challenged each other to have made, before the turn of the year, a walk in every Dutch province. Slim Fysio (a physiotherapy practice for overweight children) made a Facebook event to get even more people off the sofa. The 12 Provinces Walking Challenge came into being.

Although neither of us has made twelve walks in twelve different provinces, it has provided us with a couple of nice adventures. A challenge is nice as motivation, especially if you participate together with several people, but eventually it is the adventure that counts. It is about the walking. It is about making time for yourself to be free and to step into nature.

Having the Via Dinarica at the back my mind, I would like to regenerate the 12 Provinces Walking Challenge. I will continue at where I left off and will wear my FiveFingers in the future. I will log my walks with the Strava app. I will save my ‘pieces of evidence’ in a Flickr Photo Album, on Instagram and on my YouTube channel.

The 12 Provinces Walking Challenge is a method to get to know your own country better by exercising, and to make every ‘normal’ walk a small adventure…

Have you been inspired? Could you do with an adventure? Challenge yourself, start to move, and participate!

  • Twelve Provinces
  • Twelve nature walks
  • Twelve months
  • Twelve micro-adventures
  • #12provinciënwandelchallenge on Instagram and Twitter

Translated by Hester Falkena


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