You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… you must do the thing you think you cannot do”— Eleanor Roosevelt
I went on my first solo hike a few weeks ago and I never felt more liberated in my life.
Growing up I, amongst other females, are taught that there are a few select things we can do solo. Our parents, guardians, and/or family likely painted the world as a dark, dangerous and hostile place where women can’t step foot outside without the chance of being harassed, kidnapped, or murdered. These are all very real things that can happen, but it shouldn’t stop us from doing the things we want to do (in a safe way of course).
I usually go hiking on weekends with friends, but due to the busyness of life, my go-to’s were constantly unavailable in a time I really needed to get outdoors. My desire to go hiking grew as I continued to receive texts from friends that said “sorry I can’t go” or “I’m too busy”.
One day something clicked for me… instead of waiting for friends to be available or for permission to do the things I’m passionate about, I just decided to go for it.
Don’t worry, I made sure I was prepared before going solo hiking. I packed water, snacks, pepper spray, a taser and a portable charger for my cell phone and shared my location with a trusted friend.
This experience may not seem like a big deal, but for someone who refused to go somewhere without a friend, this was a huge improvement.
After going solo hiking for the first time as a female, I learned that at the end of the day, you can either go for it or sit at home wishing you could go for it. This hike gave me the push I needed to realize that I was the only one holding myself back from doing 95% of the things I wanted to do but didn’t because people or society said I shouldn’t.
I think it’s safe to say this experience marked the beginning of a new mindset for me. I can welcome and embrace fear as a friend, but it will no longer hold me back.
If you would like to see the vlog of my experience solo hiking, I’ve linked below the video!