Monday, January 29, 2007

Going Solo

Solo journeys, be it on the sea, in the mountains or just through a forest can be deeply rewarding experiences and I would encourage anyone to do it within their range of experience. For me, there is that enhanced sense of awareness of and being in-tune with your suroundings. Not only from the perspective of risk taking but also from the view of enlightenment. It is possible that on the journey outwards, you travel along the road inwards. Taking the chance to be lost in your thoughts whilst being absorbed in the environment really can bring about moments of clarity that are otherwise lost in the hubbub of existence.

There are those who think such an activity is fool hardy, selfish and down right irresponsible. Encouraging others to do so is even worse lest we are somehow made responsible for their mishaps. Yet here is the thing, the media is not full stories of people meeting a sad or unforeseen demise. For sure there are always examples of 'heroes and fools' on epic adventures. Perhaps the heroes are those who know when to turn back or ask for help. Maybe the fools just stayed out one hour too long. However, there are plenty of folk who just go out there, make sound judgements about the day and come back safely which may just inspire others to try. There are things to consider - what are the consequences if things going wrong; who might it affect; what are you hoping to gain; what might you find out about yourself?

If you investigate the thoughts of fellow travellers who seek the solo experience, there are certain commonalities. They speak of a sense of independence, facing unknown challenges, simplicity, self-empowerment and searching for freedom. However, as Wendy Killoran puts it, 'though I enjoy solitude, I am not a solitary person'. Its not about being alone, its about having the space to move.

Go out there and discover........the world is waiting to be seen.

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