On a balmy summer’s evening a few months ago, I was sitting in the woods watching the flickering flames of a campfire and talking to my friend Jane on the phone. I apologised for the wavering reception and explained that I had cycled to the woods and was camping there overnight. My husband was away, so it was just me and the trees. She was clearly baffled. ‘That’s a strange thing to do on your own.’
Similarly, my friend Helen was at the theatre recently with her husband. There was one empty seat between her and the next couple. The woman said, ‘Why don’t you put your coat on the empty seat? No one’s going to want to sit on it. After all, who would come to the theatre on their own?’
Helen has often travelled solo – and been to the theatre alone.
‘Why wait until you have someone to go with before you do something? Life is short, I’d hate to waste it waiting.’
There are plenty of occasions when she has happily admired a beautiful sunset over the ocean, supping a beer or cocktail, completely on her own. On other occasions, she has made friends for a few hours or days to share the experience with.
‘If you want to, in most situations, you will find a friend.’
I used to think that if I was to walk England’s 630-mile South West Coast Path, I would need to find someone to hike with me. I dreamt about completing it for 25 years, waiting to find the right time and the right person to go with. I finally walked it last year after the penny had dropped – I could do it on my own! What was I waiting for? Although it was nominally a solo hike, like Helen, I found that existing friends joined me for some sections and I made new friends along the way. It was a wonderful experience that will stay with me forever.
What have you been waiting to do until you have the right person to do it with? What is really stopping you from doing it on your own?
For more guidance on how to smash your stumbling blocks and make your bucket list burst into life, check out my book, Live Your Bucket List. It is full of practical steps you can take to realise your bucket list dreams. What are you waiting for?
If you have any bucket list stories to share (anonymously if you prefer), I would love to hear them. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange to have a chat.
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