“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey

Now that we are allowed to meet in groups of 6 I decided to spead my little social wings and meet some new people. During lockdown, Instagram has been my saving grace in regards to feeling connected to people. The number of people who messaged me wanting to check up on me (I live alone) absolutely blew my mind and made me happy cry on a number of occasions, sometimes it’s just nice to know someone cares. Not that my friends don’t care they do a lot and I am very loved but sometimes especially during lockdown I feel like a burden so the more people that love me the better. Now would be a good time to mention that I am needy as fuck and I am ok with that.

Back to being loved on Instagram, I arranged to meet Freya, one of those lovely women that checked up on me and sent me so many beautiful messages and offered me so much support at what felt like one of the worse times of my life. We decided to see who else wanted to come along (only up to 6 though). Chrissy, Becky and Lewis soon made up our numbers. Out of the four, I only knew Chrissy (which freaked me out). We decided to meet the following Sunday for a hike in Peak District, I have to admit by the Saturday night I was ready to cancel with some rubbish excuse. Not that I am an awful person but because despite the fact that I am an over-sharer and come across as quite confident, I actually suffer very badly with social anxiety and the thought of meeting new people makes me feel physically sick.

However, I put my big girl knickers on and decided not to cancel instead I just panicked most of the night and all the way to the meeting point. To ease myself into it, I met Chrissy an hour before for breakfast together to get my chatty on and of course no hike with me and Chrissy would be complete without a bottle of wine (I never said I was a good hiker). Eventually, the rest of the group turned up still a little scared but a lot tipsy I introduced myself.

For the first hour or so I must have come across as a little awkward and weird keeping to the back of the group. But everyone was so lovely and trying to include me in all conversations. Eventually I emerged out of my anti social shell and they couldn’t shut me up.

You can find all the technical parts to this walk at Peak District Walks because lets face it I am never going to be the one to give you the information you actually need. Basically there are lots of wonderful blogs and websites already out there that have this information and can give it you better then me. What I can give you is rambling and hopefully some giggles.

We spent most the day looking for dry wood to make a brew and somewhere for a wild swim.

Eventually, we found a beautiful spot for a bit of a dip and believe me it was that cold it was just a bit of a drip. Lewis was by far the bravest and able to dip his whole body in the water. I only managed my butt. I tend to dip in most bodies of water I always have a swimsuit, spare knickers and a spare t-shirt in my backpacker for days like these. It was fair to wet and cold to get changed into a swimsuit instead I just took my leggings off and went in, in my knickers and top. I did this so I had the best chances of staying warm when I got out, quick towel dry of legs, leggings on and then I am able to change my top half so I am always covered. From going from being shy and bidding at the back to the whole group seeing my arse in a thong within a couple of hours.

“If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” Roy T Bennett. One of my favourite quotes and pictures of myself. By the end off the hike, it had turned into a whole Instagram photoshoot and I was ok with that!

Social distancing picture! So you have Freya on the left, Becky in the middle and me looking awkward on the right!

I am so happy that I went along and didn’t chicken out! For all the times my social anxiety kicks in I never actually regret going out. Which is something I have to tell myself when I start getting thoughts of self-doubt about meeting new people. We already have another date in our diaries for a night away which means they must have enjoyed themselves too. I really want to make an effort to meet as many new people as possible this year and really push myself out of my comfort zone and away from all the self-doubt.

I also made a Vlog of our day which you can find below, if you thought this blog was rambling just wait until you watch the video!!


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