“If it excites you and scares the crap out of you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.”
And that, my friends, is exactly how I felt about the prospect of going away for a weekend with 60 total strangers.
Thinking about it, it does sound like a really bizarre thing to put yourself through. But, I’ve done it twice in the last year through joining Where’s Mollie Global Travellers (WMGT) and, OH MY, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
What is WMGT?
Where’s Mollie Global Travellers is an online community created by travel blogger Mollie Bylett. Set up with the initial intention of bringing people interested in travel together – to ask travel questions, ask for recommendations and to look for people to travel with – Mollie also turned her hand to organising group trips through the Facebook page last year.
I can remember the lead up to booking my place on my first trip in the Lake District. After I’d seen the photos and footage of Mollie’s first adventure in Snowdon (but not having the courage to go along), I made a promise to myself that I would find out more about the next one – and maybe even book myself a place.
I went to and fro in my mind the week leading up to the ticket release date. One minute I was so excited for it, the next I was super nervous and questioning whether or not it was actually a good idea. I guess it was just anxiety trying to worm its way in – to keep me safe in my little bubble.
But, the more I thought about it, the more it became everything I wanted to do – get away for a weekend, meet new people and explore a part of the UK I’d never been to before.
I won’t lie, it was a really daunting prospect. It would mean a weekend full of activities and experiences that were more than a little alien to me – kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, even staying in a hostel and sharing a room with strangers. And don’t even get me started on the thought of carpooling with someone I’d only ever spoken to on the internet. To be quite frank, there were a lot of alarm bells ringing in my ears.
But, I decided to ignore the little voice at the back of my mind telling me it would be a really bad idea and I booked the ticket. Somehow, I knew it would all be OK – and I’d be glad for taking the risk. And, wow. I’m so glad I did. That weekend in the Lake District is one I’ll never forget.
The thing is, I know what it’s like to crave security and comfort; wanting to be surrounded by friendly, familiar faces. But I also know what it’s like to want adventure and to explore new places, but have no one to go with. It’s tricky to be a young adventurer. You can feel caught between a rock and a hard place, sometimes.
So, Where’s Mollie Global Travellers has been everything I needed it to be and more. It’s given me the opportunity to take on action-packed adventures and to explore some of the beautiful places the UK has to offer. Not only that, but the people I’ve met from the community are some of the most kind-hearted, open-minded, free-spirited people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And they’ve brought out traits in me that I never really knew existed.
I mean, I love being active but, believe it or not, this time last year I wouldn’t have described myself as an outdoorsy person. How things have changed though! In less than 12 months I’ve bought a pair of walking boots, climbed two mountains, paddle boarded and kayaked across Lake Windermere, coasteered Newquay’s coastline, hiked more miles than I ever have before – all whilst having some of the best moments of my entire life.
You really can find passions within yourself that you never knew existed – and you’re never too old to try something new.
I really believe that if there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, just you should just give it a go. This time next year, it might be your favourite way to pass the time!
It sounds like a huge cliché, but joining this community has been one of the best moves I’ve ever made. I’ve made some true friends for life and I’ve proved to myself that I really can do anything I put my mind to. Since that first solo adventure in October last year, I’ve been to three other similar events on my own and I really can’t recommend flying solo enough.
When we believe in ourselves enough to take a leap of faith and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, great things happen. The moments when we’re most uncomfortable can be the ones that help us to grow the most.
Sure, the first five minutes of a solo event might be a bit uncomfortable – you’re not sure who to talk to, where to stand, who to look in the eye – but when you push yourself to connect with other people (who are probably feeling just the same as you), you might find that you have some of the most insightful and inspiring conversations you’ve ever had.
So, whether you’re wanting a little bit more adventure in your life or you’re open to making a few new friends, get on board with Where’s Mollie Global Travellers. I promise you won’t regret it. You can join the Facebook group or follow along on Instagram to keep up to date with future events – and keep your eyes peeled for me there, too!
Header image credit: Lydia Collins
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