There’s something to be said for walking solo.
Even though it’s great to walk with friends, it’s only when we’re truly alone that we get the chance to have time to think with no distractions and lots of space. It’s not something we get the opportunity to do very often as usually we’re surrounded by people and noise and computers and phones …
I was really lucky when walking through Spain to have equal measures of walking by myself and with other people and both were valuable for different reasons. Walking with people who I had never have met before gave me the opportunity to have some really great conversations. Walking alone gave me the opportunity to think, to cry, to laugh, to stop when I wanted, to experience some wonderful things.
The Roman roads through Spain are very long and very straight and there aren’t many places to sit down comfortably and rest your swollen feet. When I was really tired I would ask for somewhere to sit and on more than one occasion I would see a shelter in the distance with seating and shade.
On another occasion I was walking on an isolated track and struggling a bit when I heard a vehicle approaching. I instantly got into fight or flight mode, particularly when it slowed down and then stopped beside me. Expecting the worst, I turned to see a lovely old couple in an old white van beaming from ear to ear. The woman then held out a basket of lollies and offered them to me. It was the nicest thing that anyone had done for a long time.
Walking alone also gave me the chance to forgive some people from my past who I needed to let go of. Sometimes you just need the time and space and open road to be able to do this. It was so cathartic.
So my advice is, if you get the chance to walk alone, take it. You never know what might occur.