Flying Solo: How To Find Adventure When All Your Friends Say ‘No’
‘Why don’t we just grab a coffee?’
You’re an aspiring weekend warrior, trying to rally the troupes for an epic adventure…but you just keep hearing this familiar, groaner phrase. And what can you do? It’s a door slamming in your face, shutting down your excitement and deciding your plans for you. You love your friends, but they just keep telling you ‘no’.
Here’s how to take the power back, as told by real women who have taken the plunge…
MUSTER THE COURAGE
Adventure is always more fun (and more safe) when it’s shared, but finding the perfect crew sometimes requires you to strike out on your own. If you’ve persisted and persisted with your friends, and they can’t be swayed to embrace adventure, then it’s time to admit defeat. But worry not – there are many women out there in the same boat, just waiting to find the perfect pals to push the limits with. You just need to find them. The best way to start – muster up the courage to fly solo. Go to organised events, or join a group…just you.
Yes, just you. It’s a terrifying prospect. What if you show up and everyone has already found their clique? What if you’re struggling at the activity you’ve chosen and you can’t keep up with the group? There’s safety in numbers, but there’s also something incredibly liberating about choosing to show up alone, to allow yourself to search, uninhibited, for the people and activities that make you happy.
If you’re not a buzzing extrovert, the prospect of forging new friendships may actually be more daunting than rappelling down a cliff face or voyaging on a three day hike, but once you find an activity that you have a deep passion for, the friends will start to come out of the woodwork. Shared loves bring people together. All it takes is to get over that first major hurdle – actually showing up. If you’re anxious about going to a new event or joining a group solo, a simple phone call to an organiser might allay your fears. Ask, has anyone else signed up alone? Can you introduce me to them on the day? It’s in their best interests to help you out, so you keep coming back for more. And the other lone adventurers they put you in touch with will be just as relieved and excited to make a new friend.
Every new thing I did taught me that new things aren’t scary. Failing isn't wrong...it just means you need to try again. And again. And again. That uncomfortable feeling is still with me at times when I'm meeting new people or doing something outside of my comfort zone. But I happily take this feeling with me as I know it means I'm growing as a person and learning new things.
- - Rachel
TRIAL AND ERROR
Finding regular adventure can be a long and frustrating undertaking, as you try to track down a pastime and a crew that you connect with. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Be unafraid of walking into an event alone and walking out feeling just as isolated. Embrace the fact that not every organisation you try to join, and not every event you go to is going to work out. Think of it like doing reps at the gym – you’re in training, and when the right opportunity presents itself, you’ll be a seasoned pro at making new friends and embracing unpredictable situations.
Finding the right female friends who will encourage you to be better and are always supportive is key. And doing something like climbing is an excellent place to find those people because you are sharing a passion that revolves around a lot of trust.
- - Maddison
If you want something done, do it yourself! So, there are no organisations or events in your area…or there are, but they just don’t feel right. Why not start your own crew? Sites like Meetup or even social media connections on Facebook or Instagram can help you find like-minded people. Put a call-out for suggestions – what kind of adventures do other people near you want to have? Then start making a list and working through it. Be creative with getting the word out the old-fashioned way, too – try putting up fun posters and flyers in high-visibility locations.
When it comes to mustering up the courage to try something new, I tell myself I just need twenty seconds of insane courage’. I find actually starting something to be the hardest part. I work myself up before it’s even begun, creating potential scenarios in my head. Sometimes I fall flat on my face, but for the most part, the actual experience far exceeds my expectations. My life is so much richer because I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone.
- - Josephine
Good things very rarely come easy. Don’t forget to give yourself a few tries at each new activity you explore, before you cross it off the list. It takes time to figure out if you have an affinity for an activity, to get the measure of a group’s dynamic, and to connect with the people around you. Sometimes, developing a great love can be a slow burn. The most important thing to remember is to follow through. Pick a date for your first adventure and commit to it.
Don’t be afraid. You’ve got this!
And when you do it, you realise that your head is the only thing stopping you. And if you fall, and you don't do it this time- then maybe you will next time.
- - Holly
Clear skies, and happy adventuring!