I just spent the last 2 weeks in Vietnam and Malaysia. I have 2 more weeks of travel ahead of me. I'm traveling alone which I've done before but not for this long...and not during such a tumultuous time in my life. The last 6 months have proved to be nearly impossible allowing me to see these 4 weeks in a bit of a different light.
Sometimes travel is challenging and frustrating. And sometimes it is filled with laughter, adventure and reading lots and lots of books. And sometimes it is filled with diarrhea, sweat, mosquitoe bites and heat rash. This trip is a bit of a hodge podge of all of these things. I'm physically alone right now in Asia and about to be on an island with no internet or phones. I live alone. I felt alone when I booked my ticket despite being at home, sitting on the couch with some of my closest friends. And for last 6 months, I have worried that I would feel alone forever despite having a somewhat thriving social life and supportive community.
But travel often forces you to face some of your biggest fears...and something lovely occurred to me in the last 24 hours. I met a gal from Prague who is traveling alone for one year. She told me about how leaving home really helped her realize what she valued. And how she met a gal traveling who she believes will be one of her closest friends in the future. She described her the way someone describes someone they love. She described her like a partner, a significant other, a lover. She smiled when she spoke of her new found friend. In fact, she glowed. Prague gal knows what's up.
Love and companionship come in so many forms. Not just in one person. And not just in one relationship. Friends are so lovely to love.
I will never be alone. Even when I'm in Asia and I can't communicate with anyone. Or when I'm sitting in an airport waiting for my next adventure. Or when I'm at home watching the ferries go back and forth. Or when I'm on a trail in the middle of the cascades with not a human in sight. There are people in my life who bring me presents to work on Christmas, feed me wine with a straw when I'm crying to hard to sit up and drink, email me everyday with life updates when I travel, hold my hand in the backseat of the car, know what snacks I need on road trips, listen to me life plan over coffee, pack my work lunch and meet me at the silverfork when I need them the most.
I'm not alone. I'm never alone. I carry bits and pieces of everyone I have ever met with me. I carry so many experiences and memories of importance that I will never lose. I'm in love with so many people. I'm in love with so many experiences. I'm in love with my community. I'm almost in love with myself...just give me a few more months.