Journey of Self Day 1
(Monmouth NJ, USA)
Years ago when family camping I saw a woman camping solo and said to myself, I will do that when I grow up.
Kids are grown, husband ran off to South America, and free as a bird, I packed my old SUV with sleeping bag, tarp, food, (mostly raw) foldable cot, knife and off I went, without any reservations.
I found a beautiful spot in Bucks County (Pennsylvania) way away from the tourist traps and simply tied my tarp to the top of my car, put down 2 garbage bags to keep my area clean on the ground for my shoes, unfolded the toddler cot and propped my feet up on my foldable chair and put my yoga mat on the cot and went to sleep like a baby.
Woke to the sounds of the birds after listening to the night life before I went to sleep and went to wash off in the creek.
I cannot describe the beauty and peace obtained from my first day of solo camping. I have fibromyalgia so I cannot carry a pack and yet this was also a fabulous experience.
Leyla's comment: Claire, thank you so much for sharing this simple yet meaningful experience. We each undertake our journeys our own way and there's no such thing as a cookie cutter solo trip. On the contrary, we each bring different purposes and perspectives to our travels and get what we need from them.
I think you're tremendously brave - I can't see myself camping on my own away from the crowds. But then I've never lived in the USA and if I had, its immensity probably wouldn't impress me as much! I have had a similar experience but in a completely different setting.
I 'camped' in southern Africa, in Zimbabwe, on my own. I actually slept in an open rondavel, or round hut, for several nights as I was doing research in a rural village. It was scary, but it was exhilarating too. The sense of peace I felt was tremendous. Even though the bush was teeming with wildlife, I gazed at the sky and felt alone in the universe, a beautiful aloneness. So I think I know how you felt. Well done!