I’ll never forget my first solo hike. It wasn’t something I’d planned and prepped for. It wasn’t even intentional, as most of my solo experiences started out. Fact was, there was just no one around to join me, so I went alone.
It was a night hike. It wasn’t particularly far – just a few miles to the Kawah Ijen volcano in a tiny village in East Java. I’d ridden there at 3am on the back of an ojek, or motorbike taxi, climbed off, bid my driver adieu, wrapped a sarong around my shoulders and got to walking.
I remember looking up and being in awe of the stars that night. I made my way to the famous blue flames, saw the local men walking up and down with their shoulder baskets full of sulfur, and made my way upwards to the ridge to take it all in.