You Don’t Have To Be Bear Grylls …

To Immerse Yourself in Nature

Interviews with ordinary people who are adventurous hikers – hoping to inspire you to venture out into nature as well

Episode 4 - Geerte

Born in the Netherlands Geerte’s first real hiking experience came when she spent a week hiking and camping with 3 friends. Despite experiencing some really cold nights, getting lost and some other minor difficulties on this trip, Geerte was hooked.Continue reading

We talk about why she is in Sweden as we recorded this interview, how she got to hike what is perhaps the best known long distance trail in the USA and what it is she likes so much about doing overnight hikes.

Favourite book on nature and/or hiking:
Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Favourite quote:
“The heavens declare the glory of God” ~Psalm 19 (You can find the full psalm here)

Want to be interviewed or know of someone who would be a great interviewee? Apply here: 


Episode 3 - Lynn EC

Born in the Philippines, Lynn moved to Paris when she married her French husband. In recent years she took up hiking as a way to deal with depression and anxiety. Inspired by the Dalai Lama who suggests to “once a year go someplace you’ve never been before”, in 2016 she set herself the goal of doing 12 hikes that year.Continue reading

We talk about her journey to go from someone who didn’t hike at all to becoming the person that hikes AND camps by herself in the Swiss and French mountains .

Favorite books on nature and/or hiking:
* Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
* Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery
* The Way by Martin Sheen

Want to be interviewed or know of someone who would be a great interviewee? Apply here:

Episode 2 - Jeannette Koolen

I met Jeannette for the first time in 2008 when she came to Austria together with her Polish Tatra dog Bo. Like I did, Jeannette too fell in love with the mountains and with mountain hiking. So much so that she moved to Switzerland, where she now works as an assistant radiologist. She spends as much time as she can in the mountains surrounding her home. Continue reading

A hike that Jeannette highly recommends is to the summit of the Fürstein. For more information on this hike go here.

Favourite book that inspires Jeannette:
Rother hiking guides

Favourite quote:
“The mountains are calling and my dogs and I must go” ~ after John Muir

Want to be interviewed or know of someone who would be a great interviewee? Apply here: 

Episode 1 - Calista Ocean

Calista Ocean is a project manager turned writer and yoga instructor who discovered hiking when her then-partner introduced her to the great outdoors. Though the relationship didn’t last her love for hiking did.

Continue reading

Having developed her hiking chops in California (USA), she dreamed of taking on a bigger challenge: the Camino de Santiago de Compostella (Del Norte route) in Spain.

After finishing the Camino Calista is travelling the world and made a brief stop in Austria, where I got the opportunity to take her on a hike in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern as well as do a face-to-face interview with her.

You can find out more about Calista and her journey on her website:
You can follow her on instagram:
You’ll find her on facebook under:

Favourite book that inspired Calista:
‘Eat, pray, love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

Favourite movie:
Wild (based on the book by Cheryl Strayed)
Six ways to Santiago (documentary film –

Favourite quotes:
“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” ~ Shakespeare
“’Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” ~ John Keats

Introducing 'You Don't Have To Be Bear Grylls'

I’m Gerdi Verwoert. Project manager turned life coach and hiking guide. It is part of my mission to inspire people to disconnect from their stressful lives and reconnect with themselves through immersing themselves in nature, the mountains especially. Continue reading

I know not everyone wants to do this is under the guidance of a coach. These interviews with ordinary people who have grown into adventurous hikers are meant to show you that you don’t have to be Bear Grylls to immerse yourself in nature. Anyone can do it!

Are you a (sometimes) solo hiker yourself and willing to share your story and experiences OR do you know of someone who would be an ideal interviewee, please (have them) apply by going here: