Right about now, the idea of sitting on a deserted island has a certain appeal. There’s no need for social distancing because there’s no one else there. As long as you have some shelter, a supply of food and water, what else do you need?
I started to think about what place I’ve visited where I felt the most isolated. A place where I felt disconnected from the world. And I wondered if that’s the place I’d really like to be right now?
I knew that all I needed to do was hike the rest of the trail and we’d be back at the car and then soon after at our room in Volcano Village. So while it was stark and barren, I never felt that I was alone.
Monument Valley is another one of those places where the stark landscape has a certain beauty. However, we visited with our Adventures by Disney tour group, so we never felt isolated. If I was camping there at night, I’m sure I’d have a different opinion.
So feeling isolated isn’t so much where you are but how much you feel cut off from the world. That was definitely how we felt when we went canyoneering in Moab.
All I can say is that I’m glad we did this before the movie 127 Hours. We were a group of five plus our guide going through these canyons. There was a small voice saying, “What if something goes wrong?” I felt very isolated until we made it back to the road.
Uluru is a major tourist destination so there are hotels and restaurants where you’re staying.
But there’s no denying when traveling there that you’re in the middle of nowhere.
When we went out stargazing, which was AMAZING, there was nothing around but darkness. I felt like if I had gotten lost, there was no way back.
While Uluru is remote, there’s one other place where I felt the most isolated in my life.
One thing you might not know about me is that I’m an Eagle Scout. I was in Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts when I was younger. Part of my summers as a child were spent at Boy Scout camp.
During my last year, I was eligible to go on a special trip. We loaded up our backpacks and headed out by canoe to an island in the middle of the lake where we’d spend the night. We’d have to pack in everything we’d need, sleeping bags, food, water and toilet paper.
Thank goodness it didn’t rain. Sitting out on that island in front of a fire we made ourselves to cook dinner and then sat in front of it for entertainment, I felt cut off from everything. To get back to civilization, I’d have to paddle a canoe back to shore and then hike several miles to camp, which was seemingly forever away from home (actually a 45 min drive, but I was a kid and it seemed so far away.)
I’d never felt more away from the world. Well, that is until now. At camp, I was with a group of my friends. It’s a different kind of isolation we’re enduring now, choosing to stay in the home you’ve made for yourself. Only being able to communicate via internet calls or waving from a safe distance.
I guess isolation is a sense of mind. You can be totally connected from the most isolated places on earth, yet you can feel totally cut off from the world while sitting at home.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary