It sounded like an exciting idea. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next…
I was afraid!
I watched YouTube after YouTube video of solo adventurers getting out there and exploring glorious countries around the world. I was all for getting out there and after several months realised I was afraid.
On my own, what would happen? What if I came across the wrong people? What if I had a medical emergency? What if… What if…
Yet, watching the people on YouTube pushed me to a limit and somewhere I crossed a line to decide to just do it. So I started slowly. I started camping on the boat in view of people and in small steps that I could handle with my comfort zone. I started detailed planning for managing the risks rather than being paralyzed by them. Practicing setting up camp so I could handle the worst weather conditions and set up from inside the boat. How would I eat – keep things simple. Staying warm. Act if I had an equipment failure.
In doing this, I built further momentum to do a trip I’ve always wanted to do. I trip into a remote part of the river into wilderness area where there was no phone coverage and little, if any people.
As the trip got closer, the fear started to build again. On my first attempt, I used the weather as an excuse and failed to leave. This really annoyed me so I attempted again and finally got going. This was it! I was on the move on a 120km return trip over four days.
As my first night approached, I found the fear welling up again. But now my mind was in risk management mode. So I found a place to camp in the middle of the river between two protruding branches from submerged trees. This was it, I had my “moat” and came to grips with just staying awake sipping hot chocolate and sleeping when sleep came.
I out lots of layers of clothes on as it was winter and quite cold. I put my little oil candle on and sat there listening to the night bush sounds. Sleep came and I went to sleep waking in the morning from my first solo, remote camp to mirrored reflections and the sound of multitudes of birds.
I did it!!! My confidence building, if I did it once I can do it again. I was adamant that I would the bet made with my wife when I left that she thought I’d chicken out and come back.
You can see the video of the trip here: https://youtu.be/meS30eh_e6M
As you can see, it was an awesome trip and I have to say I’m hooked now. Now my challenge has shifted to choosing the next destination.