Why I Love . . . Hiking

For Michael Harrington, hiking is thrilling and allows you to detach from the day-to-day rush

I guess you’d call hiking “soft” adventure. It’s thrilling, but an attainable experience for many people. Luckily for me, hiking is something I’ve managed to make a career out of, as well as a cherished pastime.

Hailing from Galway city and spending my childhood summers exploring the magical places on Achill Island and throughout Connemara, I’ve long been drawn to wild places from an early age.

It’s not enough to merely see interesting places however, you need to truly experience them, and that means getting out and walking.


Whether it's going on a family hike with my two beautiful kids and lovely wife in the Wicklow Mountains, or challenging myself to a high-altitude hike in Chile's Atacama Desert, for me there is nothing better than feeling nature all around you, detaching from the day-to-day rush of life and reconnecting with what's really important: nature, yourself and your nearest and dearest. That's what I feel is the true allure of hiking, and the wilder the better.


It's not always easy to find the time (or the weather!) to hike, but with my work (with a tour operator in Latin America) I've been travelling from Guatemala to Antarctica. Like most worthwhile things, getting to some of these places like the Lost City in Colombia can be a serious challenge, but it offers major personal and physical rewards. You can step outside your comfort zone and come back invigorated and rejuvenated, the very same feeling I get on every hike I undertake.

Michael Harrington is the manager of luxury tour operator Nuevo Mundo.