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20 Parks Challenge

By travelleranto on 2013.09.29 In 20 Parks Challenge Netherlands

Today was a quiet Sunday which I spent cleaning (what needs to be done, needs to be done), running (I finally did a 5k run pain free run in over a year!) and writing. I wrote an article about wine walking for a Dutch website and spent a couple of hours uploading pictures to the new version of we12travel. And I figured out what to do next weekend. My boyfriend will be out climbing in the Alps (I know, he’s way cooler than I am, he is just not into blogging) so I don’t have to consider anyone but me. As the fall is setting in and the first yellow colors are appearing, I decided next week is bound to be spent outdoors!
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One of the regions I enjoyed a lot while hiking the Pieterpad (a 458 long distance walk that I’m almost done with) was the Sallandse Heuvelrug, a national park north of where I live. While browsing the internet for hiking routes, I found out there are actually 20 National Parks in The Netherlands. And then, all of a sudden, like struck by lightning, I got this crazy idea…
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I want to visit every single one of them. Within reasonable time. Let’s say a year!
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In the 30-something years I have been on this planet and in this country, I have visited just 10 of them. 2 Of them are in my backyard in fact. Well that’s not really true, but they are close, let’s say a 15 minute drive from my hometown.
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Whenever I get an idea I get really excited. My heartbeat is speeding up and I want to tell as many people as I can about it. So why not challenge myself to visit all the parks within a year? Visiting not meaning stepping inside it and take off to the next one, but exploring it properly by foot or by (mountain) bike. I’ve been in various challenges in my life, which I sometimes won  but sometimes failed, too. Some of them were reading 50 books a year (win), reading 75 books a year (win), reading 100 books a year (fail) and watching 100 movies a year (fail). Oh, and the Sixpack Challenge at my gym (both win and fail). Walking the Nijmegen Marches (4 days x 40k) was quite a challenge too (I won). I usually don’t care if I fail. I like to set my goals high,  challenges shouldn’t be easy.
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However, I should not underestimate my goal and definetely consider the following facts:

– I have a fulltime office job, only 2 days a week available for everything that I like to do (meaning other things than visiting parks, too!)

– I don’t always have a car available, many of the parks are tricky to reach with public transportation.

– I’m a social person. A weekend without friends and family is no fun. I should talk them into joining me on my way to success.

– I travel a lot outside my country. In early 2014 I’m off to South America for 3.5 weeks and more journeys will definetely follow. I will not give these up for my 20 Parks Challenge.
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Not counting the 2 parks in my backyard (as I go there often anyway) there will be 18 parks left on the list. That means I have to visit a new one every 2.8 weeks. Yes, that is quite the challenge. But I take it. If I win, I will be happy. If I fail, I will be happy too. Life is too short to be unhappy. Have a great week everyone!

veluwezoom

4 Responses to "20 Parks Challenge"

    Comments (4)

  1. Nils wrote:

    Great challenge, good luck!

  2. Solveig wrote:

    it’ll definitely not be easy to make it to all 20 (18) parks, but I wish you much luck that you’ll make it.. 🙂 And it’ll be interesting to hear about all those national parks.. challenges are always great (but mostly I fail 😉 )..

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nice to meet you

My name is Antonette (Anto) and I’m a 30-something outdoor fan living in The Netherlands. Traveling is my passion (hence the username travelleranto) and I like to spend my journeys the active way, mostly by hiking and camping.

If I’m not on the way, I work as a product manager for a Dutch tour operator specialized in natural destinations, such as Alaska, Argentina and Iceland. When not in the outdoors or behind an office desk, I enjoy writing (for my own site but also some Dutch websites), photography and reading.

website:we12travel
twitter: travelleranto
facebook:we12travel

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