Hiking doesn’t seem like an inherently language-oriented activity, but the last several hikes we’ve been on have involved speaking and hearing multiple languages. There’s something very satisfying about greeting your fellow hiker. As a result, I had to get very good at the jumble of consonants in the Polish “cześć” or the gutteral sounds of the French “Bonjour” and the inevitable “Je ne parle pas français” when my fellow hikers have follow-up questions. Beautiful hikes draw locals and out-of-towners alike, which made for a fun game of guess the language when we were hiking to the Old Man of Storr. And there’s something special about the patience that hikers have. We’ve all developed an appreciation of the progress you can see after taking one step at a time.