Wild Roamers: Why Hiking Solo is Good for the Soul!
Over the last few years I have logged dozens, if not hundreds of miles hiking with my family. In the snow, in the blazing Texas heat, alongside bubbling waters and lost inside deep forests.
But, lately I’ve been feeling pulled to explore on my own. My children are growing up and showing more independence everyday, leaving me, as a mom, to figure out this new phase of life as they all will be in school, together, for the first time next fall.
Recently, I went on my very first solo hike. I’ve been practicing spending time alone on the trail when we adventure as a family, spending 10-15 minutes at a time just me and the great outdoors. However, this was my first attempt to choose a trail, bring supplies for just myself and go at my own speed.
I will admit, I was pretty nervous to venture out on my own. Originally I chose a new, moderately challenging trail to conquer. But, then I decided that was probably not the safest idea, so I ended up exploring a trail that was a bit more familiar to me and closer to home.
Of course, I was a little freaked out about safety. I live in Austin, TX, one of the busiest cities in America. With city living comes city crime. Unfortunately, I was the victim of a pretty nasty car break-in last summer while out at a swim hole with my kids. So, I’m always a little leery and tend to be hyper-aware of my surroundings these days. That said, I took all the necessary precautions before heading out. I shared my location on my phone with my husband and sister.
I texted my friends a Google Map coordinate of where I was and I took along our first-aid kit, enough snacks and water to feed a small army, plus some.
As soon as I stepped onto the trail, I could tell this was going to be different. It didn’t feel like exploring like it usually did, but more of a challenge… and I love a good challenge! I listened. I observed. I forced myself to walk at a slower pace and just simply be.
These are not luxuries I often have when I’m with the kids, so I took advantage of theopportunity.
It was lovely.
It was also hard.
Being alone is hard.
Have you tried it?
When you take a solo trek, in addition to preparing for any situation, also think about your goal or purpose.
Are you looking to increase stamina?
Or maybe just get out into nature?
Is it something on your personal bucket list?
Or perhaps you seek a few moments of reflection.
Either way, I highly recommend a solo hike.
Not only is it good for the body, but good for your soul.
Everyone deserves a few moments of respite.
Once back at the safety of my car I took a deep breath and thought, “I did it!”
I did it. I did something that felt daunting, something for myself. I was proud.
Looking back, I decided I’m going to keep trying, keep practicing my independence, test out some more solo hikes, even if it is a little intimidating.
I’ve always believed that without challenge, there is no growth.
We’re all put on this earth to grow- aren’t we?
Plus, my birthday is Independence Day so I kind of owe it to myself to keep pushing the limits and reclaim my own Independence.
Thanks for Reading!
Safety should always be at the for front of every hike so check out this great blog post from @exploerchick