Growing up as an identical twin, I’ve always had someone to lean on/depend on. It has always been a struggle for me to try new things on my own. Solo-ing was a nightmare to me. Eating out alone? Never. Taking a class alone? Never. Taking a trip alone? Heeellllll no. However, living in NYC has slowly changed my heart. In this city, you can do whatever you want and be whoever you want. How can anyone judge when NYC comprises of such an eclectic group of people?
I’ve recently read a few blogs that encourage women to embark on a solo trip because it was a great way to discover things about yourself and for you to be courageously independent. After thinking more about this, I decided I had to make a solo trip of my own.
I found an ideal mini hiking trip to Bear Mountain State Park in upper NY on the Short Line bus site. It was a late Friday night and I had been staring at the ticket site for over an hour. My audacious side won the mental battle and I finally clicked the Submit button.
I woke up the next morning at 6:30 AM to catch the bus. To be honest, waking up that early was probably the hardest part of the trip. Ha.
Once the bus arrived at Bear Mountain Inn, I grabbed my map and was ready to go. I stopped by the bathroom and bumped into a girl who looked at my strangely and asked “Are you hiking by yourself?”. This question triggered my self doubt, but I plainly stated “Yes, it’s just me”. I left the bathroom in a hurry. Uncertainty about my solo trip consumed me.
Once I started on the trail and took a deep breath of the fresh air, I was feeling ok again. A group was ahead of me and one of the members looked at me and asked (once again), “Are you hiking by yourself?”. I stated, with more confidence this time, “Yes. It’s just me.” They offered me to join their group- which I kindly declined. I was on a mission. A solo mission.
I was lost for an hour. The trail markers were unclear and I started jogging to find the right path to take. I originally wanted to hike the Appalachian trail (~6miles), but ended up going on a completely different path. This path consisted of a “Timber Rattlesnake Habitat Ahead” sign; mini waterfall where I could see large fish swimming around; and challenging climbs.Dangerous and adventurous. It was awesome.
I loved it. Loved it all! Maybe it was my enthusiasm for hiking or the beautiful weather. All I know is that I’m definitely doing more solo trips. Below are some selfies (which were laborious to take, ha).
My favorite part was sitting over the water. I passed a river that had a thick log in the middle (top left corner of picture below) and climbed to the middle of it. I sat on the log with my feet dangling over the clear water flowing beneath me. The sound of rushing water accompanied with birds chirping abolished all my fears and worries. It was perfect.
I was on my way back and encountered another waterfall with a long narrow concrete path above it. I crawled over to the concrete and sat on it. The powerful waterfall splashed beneath me. I wanted to jump in for a swim, but saw a huge NO SWIMMING sign. I guess my hand in the cool water would suffice for now.
I finished my hike earlier than expected and had an hour to spare before the bus came back. So I wandered around the park and sat on the benches (pictured below). Bear Mountain Inn was a beautiful place. I can see why so many families come here on the weekend for a getaway. The view was stunningly peaceful.
My first solo trip was an overall success. There were a few troubles along the way, but I am certain there will be more solo trips (or classes or meals or anything!) in my future. This solo trip not only help me gain confidence in doing things on my own, but also to take charge of what I truly want to accomplish: courageous independence.