At WILD AIR Sports we are all about pursuing awesome adventures outdoors and enabling other people to do so as well! While we have been very running and cycling focused up to now, there is much more in the big wide world to explore and thus we are over the moon to be bringing you hiking content from Linda Viljoen!
Linda is a lover of the outdoors and seemingly always on a mission somewhere beautiful and remote, or she’s busy planning one! She has hiked all around South Africa from the majestic peaks of the Drakensberg to the rugged crags of the Cederberg and plenty of spots in between!
Not only is she a local adventurer but also has done a bit of globe trotting to spots like Thailand, India and Israel to explore the trails, peaks, and valleys of far away lands. We are thrilled to welcome Linda to the team and are excited to share her adventures and expertise with you all in the weeks and months to come!
Get to know Linda a bit in our Q&A below and find her contributions in the hiking space here!
WA: So Linda, let’s start off with a bit of background on you. Where did you grow up and how would you describe your approach to life?
Linda: I had a vibrant city childhood in Johannesburg and now get to enjoy living in Pretoria as a young adult.
I’ve pretty much always had a “go getter” approach to life. Nothing ever felt too big or too much to achieve, and if it did, I know I had to work hard to get it.
WA: Where did the passion for hiking begin and what does it look like now for you?
Linda: I remember when I was 9, I had the option to either attend a drama prize giving or a weekend hike with the “Voortrekkers”. I chose the weekend hike and it was one of my favourite childhood memories. School activities kept me busy and it wasn’t until the end of my first year that I did another multi-day hike. Within the first 2km of the hike, I handed over my backpack to a loyal friend, nearly passed out and almost called my mom to fetch me.
But with a lot of gummy bears, heavy breathing and 20 year old dad jokes, I completed my first ever 80 km hike!
Hiking is still that for me. A place of a lot of humility, transparency and child-like behavior. I feel it is one of the few places adults get to unapologetically be themselves. Those massive mountains remind you how tiny you are and that life doesn’t have to be so serious.
WA: What has been one of your top hiking experiences / trips to date and what is next on your bucket list?
Linda: ahh so many!
The Drakensberg remains a highlight. It really is something else waking up above the clouds.
I’ve also had some funny tent moments where we forgot our tent poles and had to fit 4 people in a 2-man tent.
We also just recently had another guy who didn’t take a tent at all, and slept in his survival bag in the open.
WA: If you could have a week to hike with anyone in the world, anywhere in the world, who would it be and where would it be?
I’d love to take my hiking crew and little siblings to hike in the Himalayan mountains. Maybe Everest 😉
WA: When you aren’t out in the mountains, what are you up to?
Linda: In front of multiple screens either working on my thesis or creating online content.
WA: Any words for people thinking of getting into hiking and exploring their local area?
Linda: Just say “yes”. After that it’s pretty difficult to start saying “no”.
We love it! You can find Linda’s articles on how to get into hiking and what essentials you need right here so you can set off on your own adventures well prepared for the journey!
Follow Linda’s socials on @lindahikessouthafrica