Many times when one wants to journey into the great world of nature, they wish go solo. Maybe they want to test themselves, are tired of dragging along others, or merely want to experience a trip in a new way. I don’t want to step on toes (mine included), but going solo in life is not always superior to community.
Let me outline the benefits of community. You have a support group in a community. Something happened? no big deal! Your significant other can get you soup, or your friend can turn in your homework for you. Bored? Hit up a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
I could go on, but I’m going to address something else about community – responsibility.
Many times we wish to be more secluded so we don’t have to answer when others call. “You need me for something? Sorry, I’m on a mountain.” Whether that mountain is real or imaginary, we need to be damn sure that we’re not there merely for selfish reasons. We as a race are called to be in community with other people, and if what we’re doing is running away from others then is it the right choice?
There are many roles that the singular can play within a community. Your role may be letting others know when there is a road block that isn’t normally there so people get where they are going on time. Another may be tweeting out that there is a sweet deal at the local cafe. A role that I saw come out this past weekend in my community was that of the comforter in times of grief. You don’t need to do much: just be there.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “What does this have to do with solo adventuring?” My answer to you is this: nothing at all if you’re heart is in the right place. Is it for selfish gain, or is there a larger goal?
There is much to be said for exploring the great outdoors. If people never explored, new places would have never been found. There aren’t as many places nowadays that haven’t already been mapped out – either by foot or satellite – so true exploration is typically going to be underground through caves or underwater.
I hope I didn’t tread on too many toes with this. I realize how many solo adventurers there are out there, and I’m not apologizing. They aren’t doing anything wrong as long as they aren’t going out for merely selfish reasons. This piece is not about them; I’m writing about what we can do for each other.