Why do I need a guide? Can’t I just walk in nature on my own?
You can, but the biggest benefit of having a guide is to really slow - you - down. Many nature therapy walk participants, even avid nature explorers, recommend having a guide for that reason. Your guide is trained in opening your senses so you can turn down the volume of the thinking head and set aside your to-do list temporarily. You won’t have to worry about the time and can completely immerse in the moment. The practice of circle sharing is a key component too, to help establish and strengthen connections. There might be some parallels with experienced yogis who keep going to yoga and meditation classes and gatherings.
I am afraid of touching plants, walking barefoot, seeing animals and crawlies in nature.
You do what you are comfortable with. In a nature therapy walk, we call our activities “invitations”. This means that they are all voluntary and there is no right or wrong way in doing them. It is not about trying to be “the best” or “perfect” walker. Feel free to talk to your guide before the walk if you have any concerns. Generally speaking, the trails chosen are safe for walks with no grave, life-threatening dangers. Your guide will inform you of anything you should be aware of in the introductions.
I do not like/ am not good at socialising and expressing myself, do I have to interact with others?
Again, every activity during the walk, including circle sharing, is an invitation. You can express yourself in any way you want that feels right for you in that moment. Perhaps you would surprise yourself and have much to say. Perhaps you would like to sing, dance, or hug someone. Silence is an expression too so if it feels right, you can totally remain silent. If you would rather walk on your own with a guide, a private walk is an option too.
More questions? Tell us!