The Art of Going it Alone

I understand the wariness, you reach a fork in the road and, map clasped in hand all you need is a little reassurance. Yet, being out on the hoof, negotiating you’re way through somewhere new, it feels that as you’re trying to find you’re way, you’re really in a constant state of discovery.

When it comes to the solo traveller there have been common misconceptions, but it has to be said that there is no such thing as your archetypal ‘lone traveller’. They don’t fit any standard model, except perhaps that they’ll will be shying away from tour buses crammed with holidaymakers.

When the topic of your solo walking trip comes up in conversation, beware. You may be met with sentiments such as ‘Oh, how brave!’ or just outright bafflement. Yet, even though there is a lot of misunderstanding on the subject, the market for solo travel has been blown wide open and over the years the demographic for solo travellers has greatly diversified.

We can cast off the idea that solo travel is at its root, an exercise in finding solace. There’s no doubt in my mind that a walk out into the wilderness can steady your thought and put things into perspective – but as the demographics for single walkers has diversified so too have the motivation behind singles walking holidays.

It can be harder to get going with solo walking, and I speak for myself when I say that for the first few miles its easy to feel unsure of yourself without somebody else to bounce off of. But if you are a bit anxious about taking on solo walking holidays, then its more than worth doing – if not just to realise what you’re capable of. It’s like they say, ‘Not all who wander are lost’.

Make Your Own Way

Lately, we’ve noticed a growing trend on the feedback forms we get sent back on singles walking holidays. Walkers have cited the feeling of solitude, and being able to clear their heads as one of the most significant experiences they’ve taken away from their trip. Its the purely sensory, unadulterated experience of walking alone – being able to hear the birds, the crunching of dry leaves underfoot and the whirr of dragonflies along the river. The fear of going it alone shouldn’t stop you from walking holidays in Uk for singles, or even further, walking holidays in Europe for singles.

If you’re looknig for a sense of remoteness, the best UK waking holidays for singles could be somewhere out in the open air – such as Glyndwr’s Way, a tranquil island like Guernsey or a wander through Cotswold villages. Day to day, with a multitude of influences vying for your attention – you can feel overstimulated and restless. Putting aside the manic pace of daily life, you can feel the chatter inside your head begin to subside as you put one foot in front of the other.As Henry David Thoreau said, ‘our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify.’

Solo and group walking are not opposing pursuits – you get can get a range of different experiences within each discipline. As with my recent solo walking trip to Aragon, I really enjoyed the sense of independence that came with finding my own way and being able to do things on the spur of the moment. Walking long distances with good company, its some of the best quality time you can spend with somebody, and at the end of the walk you feel as if you’ve really achieved something together. But I know that when I crave some time alone, I don’t have to fit my walk to another persons budget, whims or schedule when I can take to the hills and find peace of mind.

 

4 Comments on “The Art of Going it Alone”
  1. Marge

    Walking with my husband is like solo walking. He is fast and I am slow. At the end of the day I say ‘did you see that bird?’ And three days after we have been walking through wildflowers he waits to point one out to me.

    1. James | Celtic Trails Post Author

      Hi Marge, well that’s all too familiar to me! There’s a few people I can walk a long while with, and feel comfortable not saying much at all – with other people you’ll have a different dynamic, and that’s fine also 🙂 – Jim

  2. Margaret Furnell

    I am a female senior who walks alone from both choice and necessity. I value not having to adjust pace or style to another walker. I go my own pace and timing and I spend time on the experiences I value. Can’t do that when walking with someone else. I have never been one to feel insecure or unsafe by myself and none of my experiences have shown me that there is anything to fear.

    1. James | Celtic Trails Post Author

      Thank you for sharing your insight Margaret, I agree that the prospect of taking to the trail as a solo walker shouldn’t deter you – if only to realise exactly what you’re capable of! There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to solo travel, which is a shame as I personally think that the experience can be quite instructive. – Jim

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