Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Thursday I did my furthest adventure on my own. I only went to Cawsand Bay, a forty-five minute drive from Plymouth, but for someone who gets anxious about getting petrol on their own, this was a pretty big deal for me. I can honestly say, it was so much fun.
Have you ever seen those people driving along in their cars, completely going for it behind the wheel, singing and dancing their hearts out? Yep, that was me on the way to Cawsand. It's such a lovely drive with completely stunning views and I had the best time behind the wheel, singing Mumford and Sons and Noah and the Whale as loudly as I could. Although my sat nav was set to Penlee Point, I quickly realised as I drove my car sheepishly into Cawsand (which is covered in no entry signs) that the sat nav was very wrong. So, instead I parked up at the Cawsand Long Stay Car Park and decided to walk into the village to see what Cawsand was all about!
Even though I stumbled upon Cawsand by accident (thanks to my confused sat nav), I was so glad that I decided to change my plans for the day! From the car park it was only a short two or three minute walk to the beach front, where I sat for a long time, enjoying the sunshine and refuelling with some lunch (after my five star performance on the drive).
Despite being alone on the beach, it was impossible to feel lonely. I did bring my book and headphones with me, just in case I needed a slight distraction to keep me entertained, but neither left my tote bag. As I sat there, sipping coffee from my flask and soaking in the warmth of the sun, I relished being surrounded by so many familiar scenes unfolding around me. Parents relentlessly dousing their children in suncream, big floppy hats and colourful trunks, laughter filling the air as yet another kayak is capsized by first-time kayakers, children exploring rock pools armed with locally bought spades and crabbing nets. In the background, the sail boats bobbed lazily on the calm waves; I thought to myself how they reminded me of a scene from Mumma Mia, I was half expecting Colin Firth to spring out from below the deck to serenade us all with an infamous Abba ballad.
So, even though I was alone, I really wasn't lonely. I was experiencing and enjoying all these different lives and stories from an outside perspective, which allowed me to reflect on similar memories I've had with my big and crazy family. The toddlers breaking away from their parents arms, hands flailing in the air, clumsily running toward the sea, reminded me of when my nephews were smaller, their hands chubby and curious. The grandparents proudly watching the chaos unfold from the comfort of a fold-up chair, thankful they're no longer the ones to do the chasing, reminded me of the look of joy and nostalgia I see on my nan and grandad's faces at our big family get-togethers. In being alone, taking in the environment around me, I was reminded of how no matter what walks of life we may come from, we can always find common ground in family.
As I was sat on the beach, I was taken surprise by a little ferry which began to edge closer and closer to the beach, until it pulled up right onto the shore. A mass of passengers quickly offloaded while a queue of people lined up on the beach, ready to jump on board... I was very confused until I realised that it was the ferry from Plymouth! I always try and make sure that there is public transport to and from the places I visit, so that the trips are as accessible as possible, but this is a whole new level of accessible... you literally get dropped off on the beach! I think I must've been the only person on that beach to be completely stunned by the sandy ferry stop, as the kayakers and paddle-boarders seemed to casually carry on their activities, as though the ferry was a fellow kayak.
The beach began to fill and I had finished my lunch and coffee, so after a quick look on google maps I began the (supposedly twelve minute) walk to Penlee. It did not take just 'twelve minutes' and I can safely say it was more of a trek than a walk - then again, that might just be from my super unfit perspective...
The walk all in all took about forty minutes and a lot of it is uphill. However, despite the heat and the uphill struggle (again, me being super unfit most likely) it's a really lovely forest walk. The sat nav once again let
me down and got the location wrong, so I was very confused when I got to a very large 'Keep Out' sign on a barbed fence. Being alone, I became so flustered and confused, until a lovely family who could most likely see how confused I was, frantically searching the sat nav to work out where on earth I had gone wrong, told me there was a little pathway to the side which takes you up to Penlee Point...
Sweaty and dishevelled I finally reached Penlee Point. The views were absolutely incredible, however, being alone I was a bit apprehencious about climbing down toward the lookout. It took me a little while but I eventually gathered the courage to do some exploring around the area, down toward the lookout.
The lookout was incredible, the views, the peaceful atmosphere; I felt genuinely so proud of the fact that I had reached this beautiful place on my own. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love adventuring with Charley or any of my friends who I can manage to drag along with me. However, now I am in Plymouth for my first ever summer without my friends being at uni with me, it's so reassuring to know that I can still have fun doing my adventures, even on my own.
As I said at the start of this post, I completely understand that it can feel so daunting going for a day out on your own, but I cannot suggest it enough. Through challenging myself and being out of my comfort zone, instead of being sat in waiting for Charley to come home, I had the absolute best day and any fears I had about this upcoming summer were completely dissolved. Even if it's just a walk down the road or going for a coffee in your local cafe, having quality time on your own is such a great confidence boost and you might surprise yourself with what you can achieve on your own!