Yesterday I went hiking and it was stellar! End of post.
I kid, I kid. (It was stellar though).
This was my first solo hike since last fall and my favorite solo to date! I haven’t done a ton of solo hikes and to be honest it was never something I was super interested in. When I started hiking in 2016 I loved the social part of it – catching up with friends, connecting with old friends who also hiked, meeting people on trail. My outgoing introvert self found it was getting enough alone time that hiking was a great outlet for the social and outgoing side of me.
I think I will always on some level find enjoyment in the social aspect of hiking, perhaps sometimes more than others though. Lately I’m finding myself needing more alone time. This is in part due to lots of shifts going on in life both “externally” and “internally”.
I’ve talked a little bit here and there on the blog about some of the recent changes – graduating college (May 2019) and a new job (early 2019). Not so much has been said about those which are coming, and there are quite a few. The quick list includes: my parents house/childhood home where I’m currently living selling this summer, moving all of my stuff into storage/friends/family, my parents moving into their fifth wheel RV and traveling the US, me taking time off work (SUPER grateful to be able to do this!) to embark on what I’m calling “project create your own adventure”, trying to find an apartment when I wrap up the aforementioned adventure, figuring out the health insurance component now that I’m 26 and my job doesn’t offer it (perks of personal trainer life), starting my own business in the fall, and a few other random things. Life is definitely happening, and I’m excited, stoked, nervous, ready to take things on, etc. all the feels.
With all of this I’m finding my internal environment shifting to craving more solo time, more getting in touch with my inner-self, connecting to my thoughts and goals and plans on a deeper level. The past few weeks have been a bit of a hermit phase. It’s more of a hermit/growth phase simultaneously occurring. Growth from the personal development lens.
There is something so incredibly raw and pure about being in the woods – with or without other people. Add this to being solo and I find it’s a very spiritual connection with nature that I experience.
Hiking, for me, has always been a very spiritual and soul fulfilling activity. I feel so alive and connected to my inner and outer worlds when I’m walking down the trail, looking at trees and wildflowers, listening to birds and the wind. Thoughts flow in and out. I hear and feel my heartbeat. I notice the sound my footsteps make and they fade into the background as I keep walking. Everything becomes very present moment.
One of my favorite aspects of hiking is how much I’ve grown as a human through it and how much I will continue to grow by immersing myself in an environment which helps me break out of my comfort zone, ask big questions, process, and connect – all while feeling supported because I’m doing what I love. It sounds cliché but it’s been my rock per se throughout the past few years and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
So for now I’m going to keep exploring, pushing the comfort boundary, and see where this hermit/growth phase takes me.
“There is something so breathtakingly beautiful about wildflowers. So spontaneous. So unplanned. So unstructured. Just a subtle, raw purity that grows with the rising and setting of the sun.” – Nicole Addison