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OUT THERE - A Phenomenological Approach to Solo-Hiking in Northern Scandinavia
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography. (Tourism)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Every summer solo-hikers roam the wilderness spaces in northern Scandinavia; cross mountains and rivers, are in awe of the nature. This thesis explores the questions: What do they seek out there? It uncovers their aspirations and experiences with a phenomenological research approach. Sixteen solo-hikers were interviewed in-situ (northern Scandinavia, June to August 2014) to gain immediate insights into the phenomenon. The analysis derived major experiential themes from their narratives: the solo-, the nature-, the physical and the inner experience. Accordingly, the results show that the solo-hikers seek a mixture of experiences. The study suggests that the solo-hike is both a journey of distance and closeness. The individuals seek (a perceived, not spatial) distance to common life spaces and make sense of wilderness as a place that is 'away'. However, they speak about the solo-hike as an experience of closeness to their inner selves. The thesis links to key concepts in human geography (such as place, identity) and central discussions in tourism studeis (e.g. solo-travel, travel motivations). Besides, the findings are relevant for tourism planners aiming to design services that meet the expectations of the travellers. Ultimately, the thesis offers a thorough theoretical discussion of adopting phenomenology in human geography.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Solo-Travel, Wilderness, Hiking Tourism, Phenomenology, northern Scandinavia
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105729OAI: diva2:827919
External cooperation
Available from: 2015-06-29 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2016-10-24Bibliographically approved

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Schilar, Hannelene
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