Rules for Intrepid Living: Rule #32.

Rule #32. Go it alone.
While there is great value in good companionship, there is also great value in solitude.
Are you prepared to embrace it?

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Rule #32. Go it alone.

You may be saying to yourself, “Now wait a minute, last week you said to ask for help when I need it. You’ve said that life is better with company, and to assemble my team. Now you’re saying go it alone? What gives?” Well, the truth of the matter is that you should ask for help when you need it, life does tend to be better with company, and you should assemble your team. But everyone finds a few pleasures best experienced solo, and there are some things a person needs to do for themselves. There are some things that can only be found inside, lessons that can only be learned by looking inward. The only way to do that is to go it alone.

It’s important to have people in your life you can rely on, but you also need to be able to rely on yourself. This is one reason behind my solo winter trip back in December; it had been awhile since I camped solo, hiked into a dispersed or primitive site, and camped in winter. I wanted to prove to myself that I’m still capable of these things, so I went into the woods alone. I found out that not only am I still capable, I’m more resilient and self-reliant than I was in the past. I wouldn’t have realized that if I hadn’t been alone that night. I also learned that I have a lot of work to do when it comes to developing my skills, and some of that will require help from my team. Solitude and companionship are both beneficial in our lives

Many people are afraid of being alone. They cling to unhappy friendships or unhealthy relationships. Unless others are doing something, they won’t even try it. You don’t have to be one of those individuals. You can shed negative people and make new friends that will be positive and supportive. You don’t need anyone’s permission to try something new. If no one wants to go hiking with you, fly solo (just remember to be safe, exercise caution, and file your flight plan).

Spend some time getting to know who you are when you’re alone. Sit under a tree by yourself with your thoughts. Visit an art gallery and think about how the work affects you. Take a walk and move at your own pace without a care about keeping up with anyone. If you’re ready and can do so safely, consider spending a night by yourself in the woods. Get to know yourself, get comfortable with who you are, and don’t be afraid to go it alone.


6 thoughts on “Rules for Intrepid Living: Rule #32.

  1. My preference is mostly for solitary walking – you get to see and hear a lot more. I appreciate that for those that like walking in a group, it is largely a social thing and that is good if that is what you need/want.
    I am currently trying to introduce the idea to walk leaders that they should plan pause points in their walks where everyone is silent for a few minutes and just look and listen to their surroundings. This will be an uphill struggle for some!
    PS I also enjoy walking with my wife and family đŸ˜„

    1. I enjoy hiking with my wife, but sometimes I need a little alone time out in the wilderness. I like the occasional group outing, but too many people often detract from what I’m looking for. Different strokes for different folks, though. I do think that the idea of having pause points would be quite beneficial for walk leaders. I’ll keep that in mind should I ever find myself leading hikers again!

  2. For a long time, I clung on to negative influences in my life for the sake of having them. It wasn’t until a year ago that I decided to stop doing things just to have people around and finally do things I wanted, ie backpacking. Best decision I ever made. I’ve learned so much more about myself and have become a much stronger person, both mentally and physically.

    1. Most of the relationships and influences in my life are incredibly positive- in fact, until fairly recently I myself was the most negative influence in my own life… Scary to think about! I’m all about being a team player in general, but being able and willing to walk away and do things alone and independent of others has allowed me to find a strength in myself I didn’t know I had. Embracing the solitude can be really helpful in that way.

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