Solo Walking Holidays
Having recently read an insightful article by Kayla Anderson who, following a break up had discovered that hiking solo had provided great solace, it got us pondering. What is it about the solitude of walking by oneself that provides so many of us comfort? That despite being alone it is far from a lonely experience, in fact quite the opposite.
“The sun propelled me forward. It gave me energy and life as I walked miles away into the wilderness. There is truly nothing more therapeutic than walking along the trails of freshly fallen amber leaves, inhaling and exhaling the clean, cool air and clearing the demons that inhabit your mind.”
Miss Anderson is one of a growing trend of men and women who are choosing to experience adventure, travel and the great outdoors companionless. Driven by wanderlust, a need for personal growth or simply to escape the trappings of the modern world, people of all ages are heading out alone and discovering the joys of walking solo.
Walking has long been praised as one of the best forms of exercise, improving our sense of wellbeing it helps reduce stress and blood pressure as well as boosting creativity, to name just a few. But walking alone offers us more than that, it enables us not only to be introspective but to learn how to be content with one’s own company, it forces us to become acutely aware of the environment around us, every smell and noise, the wildlife, flora and fauna.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn
But what is it that’s causing this increase in people wanting to embark on adventures by themselves? Research suggests that technology has a huge part to play. Solo travel has seen the biggest rise among women’s walking holidays in the UK and the over 50’s, encouraged by social media and empowerment blogs they are now embracing independent travel whereas before may have felt daunted or vulnerable at the prospect of traveling unaccompanied. The growing awareness of the detrimental effect of modern technology on our physical and mental health is also playing it’s part, we are becoming increasingly conscious of the importance of implementing some digital detox in to our lives, a deep-rooted need to switch off and spend time by ourselves.
For those that have yet to discover the delights of walking alone, we encourage you to take that leap. We are not suggesting you pack your whole life into a rucksack and trek 1100 miles along the PCT like Cheryl Strayed (unless you want to of course) only to give it ago, even an hours gentle stroll in the countryside can have a cathartic effect, for walking by oneself in the great outdoors allows us to feel truly alive.