I went for a hike today.
Last night I was looking for the car park to start on Google Maps. I found it and the Google Reviews of the hike.
The one voted most helpful was one which said ‘The view is much the same on the way up, won’t interest regular hikers too much.’
I kept reading. Many had heavy positive views. But the ones which said ‘Too hard’, ‘Not the greatest’, ‘Not enough shade’ had the most upvotes.
The hike was a challenge. 2 and a half hours up hill. And then 2-hours down hill. Down hill is as much of a challenge as up hill.
Were the people reading the reviews looking for a way out. An excuse to say, ‘I read the reviews and it doesn’t look like it’s worth the effort.’
When someone else says it, it’s easy to agree and take their word for it. Sometimes reading the reviews can save time and effort.
Other times, they can get in the way. Get in the way of you having your own experience. After all, everyone who leaves a review has a different worldview to you.
The view at the top was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Starting in the dark and having frozen hands was worth it. Ever better than the view was getting to the bottom by 10 am and being able to say I’d climbed 5-hours and it wasn’t even lunchtime.
All these things I picked up from the reviews. Start early. The breathtaking views from the top. The hard climb. Cold winds at the peak.
Even the most helpful review was right. You could see the entire landscape the whole way along.
But that doesn’t mean you should always take someone’s word for it. Take it in. Absorb it. If it’s good advice, listen. If not, don’t.
I usually never read reviews. I don’t want the views of others to hold me back. I already do that enough myself.
Not this time.