Ibiza Hike Station : Hike to get high
If hiking is the new clubbing in Ibiza, then Manuel Ehrensperger is the new superstar
DJ. The Swiss-born former fashion CEO left a globetrotting career in luxury to strip
his life back to the bare minimum, reevaluate, and reassess what it means to be truly
alive in this modern world. MAVEN caught up with a man whose new-found motto is
Hike to Get High.
You’ve lived a very nomadic life. Can you explain a little more about your journey?
I was born in Zurich and I grew up in Switzerland. I went to a very prestigious
hospitality school in Lausanne and then I travelled to Africa to become the director
of F&B for a hotel in Dakar, Senegal. After that I moved to New York. I was 24 years
old and shortly after that I moved into the luxury fashion industry. I was working
with Levi’s, and it was with them that I moved to Spain. Then I joined Swarovski in a
top role and travelled a lot, all over the world. Later I moved to Pronovias where I
became CEO. I had a very successful career and I’m happy for that, but it was time
for a shift.
What was the catalyst for such a sharp turn of events?
Something inside me knew that I was ready for a physical and spiritual shift. I was
40-something and I resigned from my job decided to walk 800 kilometres of the
Camino de Santiago, alone. It took me 21 days and I did it in silence. It was a pure
revelation. I had a breakthrough in my consciousness and realised that to go far in
life, you must go light. Light in everything – in material possessions, in your home.
Not to eat too much, don´t have too much money, and keep few belongings. I
reevaluated everything I thought I knew.
Why is hiking such an important way of connecting?
Getting into nature is a the most unbelievable therapy and its’ available to everyone.
It’s a whole new experience for some people – it’s not clubbing, it’s not a restaurant,
it’s a whole other way to feel the buzz of being alive. That’s what my tagline is Hike to
Get High – hiking takes away stress, it transmutes anxiety it allows us to disconnect
from our lives and reconnect with ourselves in a way that can be extraordinarily
powerful. We always have a seven-minute silent session on every walk and I have had
many clients break down during that period. People become overwhelmed by the
sensation of being completely in the present moment. Being silent in deep nature is
one of the most profound experiences a human can have. I’m so grateful I get to