I’ve never been the kind of person that has many friends. Growing up I loved the company of books and video-games, and even today, truthfully, I don’t really have anyone that I can call a friend to go places and do things with. I know people online that I can talk to, but not to hang out with. I like having time for myself, I usually stay mindful of my own emotions and feelings – sometimes I do wish I had people to do things with and for many years, I did not go places or did things because I was afraid of doing it by myself. Overtime I realized that even when I tried to connect to others, being naturally introverted and quiet, eventually friendships would fall apart. So should I waste my life being afraid or do things that I truly loved…?
I decided to start hiking on my own, at first it felt strange, since you always cross people who has a friend or a partner – they are always talking. When I hiked with other people and they always want to chat, eventually I realized that it annoyed me. It was a cold fall day and they were complaining that it was cold and wet, kept asking how much longer until the trail ended… it was horrible – there was so much beauty around and all that I could hear was complaints.
I hike because I want to breathe the fresh air, observe the animals and nature, not to chat. I don’t mean that I don’t want to say anything, but there is so much that is lost if you are so focused on a conversation. We live in a world full of noise pollution, and when you are in nature, everything is peaceful – quiet, you can hear your own breathing, your thoughts get clear, and the fresh air cleanses my soul. I learned that being okay with solitude is a good thing, I still wish I had someone to go on adventures with occasionally, but someone that wouldn’t mind silence, that would be okay with stopping to appreciate and mediate.
I don’t find it dangerous, since danger can be everywhere. Of course I still prepare with pepper spray and a weapon – but it could happen anywhere. I honest feel more safe hiking than walking around my campus at night.