middle rhein valley
Richard Dirksen

Richard Dirksen

holiday step by step to happiness

A holiday on the move – ultimate step by step to happiness

My partner could not imagine herself having an active vacation. Relaxing and doing nothing was more her idea of a vacation. But boy was she in for a treat! This blog is a personal experience report from her which I translated from German to the best of my abilities. The original version she has posted on her site

All year round one looks forwards toward the holidays, right? Sun, beach and sea are already waiting for you. Finally able to relax and recharge the batteries. But so often at the end of the holiday, one still doesn’t feel rested, even though spending the whole day just lazing around. But this exactly how I always felt; beach, lake or pool. Reading some good book, a bit of lying in the sun, from the morning up to the evening doing nothing.

This should not be the case, suggests Richard, my friend. “We should plan something more active, let us plan a hiking holiday together. And the overnight stays should not be in hotels or pensions!” No, we both agreed to have as much nature as possible. So we wanted a holiday with a tent and only on our two legs.

That was to be the first time in 50 years that I did something like that: an active holiday…

Organization is everything

My friend, a typical man, confident and totally convinced of himself, did the complete planning for both of us. So he organized the overnight stay for us in his spacious 1.5-person tent. This thing was already there and tested several times, on his own…

His motto: “Oh, don’t worry that will go!”

So we set off for Rüdesheim to hike for 5 days on the RheinSteig trail. We wanted to try out whether active vacation in this form can be something for both of us.

our accommodation

The main thing is to be well looked after

Shortly after arrival, the first hurdle was already in the way. We had to climb up the vineyards to reach the forest. With 13 kg of luggage on our backs, it was not the easiest challenge. Certainly not for the first time…

But what can I say, as soon as I was in the middle of the vineyard, the grapes started to laugh at me. Of course, I had to check first how this variety tastes like. With a handful of grapes, the climb was much more relaxed and I can really say that I really enjoyed both.

Step by step to myself

Our daily stages led us through forests, vineyards and fields. And what I felt during this time can hardly be put into words. I think it was for the first time in my life that during those days I thought of nothing else but what I experienced at that moment. The surroundings had such a calming and cleansing effect on me that my head was completely empty. Thoughts that were part of my everyday life simply stayed away. 

I was completely calm and relaxed and I even did not want to talk For those who know me know that it is quite something special, me and having nothing to say.

I did not mind being on my feet all day long. I could just enjoy our little breaks with bread, fruit, water and coffee. When was the last time I had experienced so much silence? I could hear birds, rushing water and feel the wind on my skin. No trace of stress. 

Hiking trail in the vineyards wine sticks

Holidays on the move and the consequences

Today I can say that this five-day hike was my entry into a more active life. Since then, walking, (trail-)running and also hiking have come part of my leisure time. Hardly a day goes by without exercise. And of course, we spend all of our holidays much more active ever since.

We have improved our equipment and material little by little so that we are better equipped for bad weather and have a larger tent. We have bought a great tent, the awesome Fjällraven Keb Dome 2. This tent can literally withstand any weather. It is very light and has two entrances. So no of us has to climb over the other one to get out.

We have also changed our backpacks into 2 Deuter packs. If we had two 30 l day packs on our first tour (we know that today), we both carry very good trekking packs today. Despite the higher number of litres, the carrying comfort is clearly much better, because the load is not only on the shoulder but more on the hip.

Damals und Heute
Our equipment then vs our equipment today

Adventure time at our front door

If I urgently need a break today, I am looking for recreation in nature. We also use many a weekend for a short trip into nature. After all, we always have everything with us and there is always a camping or trekking site. My mood quickly improves and I stop thinking about annoying things. And afterwards, I simply have more energy again and can approach upcoming tasks more relaxed.

The nice thing about the whole thing is also that you have such micro-adventures right in front of your door. You don’t need a lot of planning, equipment and preparation for a day trip. Very nice and well-signposted hiking trails can be found very nearby most of the time.


I never thought I would ever say that I enjoy hiking. But not only that, it has simply brought me so much more to be out in nature.

I have learned that it is easier to switch off, relax and recuperate with exercise than if I am sitting by the sea or lake all day.

You just come back with immense energy and you feed on the impressions and events for a long time.

I can only recommend everyone to plan an active holiday.

Vacation in motion

Active Holiday at the RheinSteig

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