A Really Good Moment
It is a truth universally recognised that we're all trying to find a friend in this world. Extrovert or introvert, lone wolf or people person - no matter how comfortable we are in a crowd or alone, we all crave a little bit of companionship.
And yes, while people have asked me quite consistently about whether I get lonely, I have been pretty adamant that I was fine. I'm able to meet travel friends or connect with old ones wherever I ago. I enjoy travelling alone - it brings out a confidence and self-awareness in me I don't always see when I'm comfortable in my home environment.
But the longer I'm out on the road alone, the more I've felt the urge to share this with someone.
I recognise the irony in this. A soul-searching trip is supposed to be me against the world, travelling off to some remote, exotic locations to reach some crazy epiphany. I mean, you can't exactly take time out to treat yourself without yourself being the primary focus.
And it has been so refreshing to push oneself out of the comfort zone so completely and allow myself to make the decisions that are purely for me. If I hadn't done this alone, I wouldn't be so intimate with my own thoughts and feelings - from what I want to eat to the way in which I want to work.
I've revelled in being able to have my own space at times and am not too phased about going into restaurants or sitting in cafes alone. I still believe in this idea of radical self-responsibility and embracing that through this trip has been an undeniable blessing.
I still cannot believe the incredible experiences I've had during this trip - from the countries I've seen and the storms I've weathered (and I mean literal storms in the middle of the Sahara desert) to the amount of growth I've felt in myself. And I regret nothing about the way in which I've done this; I've actually been able to live my dream.
The fact is: I’ve spent a lot of time with myself and I’m a little bored.
Just as if I was spending time with another person, spending nine months with myself has been a lot. I’ve gotten to know myself really well and I've been through ups and downs. I've loved seeing me grow and become more confident and realise how far I've come. I'm happy for me.
But it's time I got a little space, got to hang out with some other people and not just hear the same stories (and introspective thoughts) To put it simply, I’m driving myself insane a little bit.
And sure, I’ve distracted myself a little bit here and there with other people I've met on the road. As I've continued to grow and evolve throughout this trip, it's been nice to introduce myself in new ways to people in each new destination. But they’ve all been temporary.
I've even found a nice therapy in writing out my thoughts and sharing my story here. It's like when you're texting a friend - but in the same way, nothing beats being able to actually sit down over coffee and chat with a friend. I’m already that weirdo in a bar alone without vocally talking to myself.
What I really want is someone to share this experience with me and get it.
When you ask me about how the trip is going or what my current country is like, how am I supposed answer?
How will I tell you about wandering through the streets or the random overheard conversations? When I tell you about this trip, who will care enough to hear even the inconsequential things I've noticed about each city - like whether it's socially acceptable to jaywalk, what shopping for groceries is like or what the people are like and how they treat me.
The best parts that I want to tell you about are so difficult to capture in words and I’m not talented enough a photographer to capture in a photograph. Anthony Bourdain said it best in:
"To sit alone, or with a few friends, half-drunk under a full moon, you just understand how lucky you are. It's a story you can't tell. It's a story you almost, by definition, can't share. I've learned in real time to look at those things and realize: I just had a really good moment."
Those are the moments I want to share but without someone here, it's hard to think that no one will ever understand what they meant.
It's not lost on me that this may still be a once in a lifetime trip. I'm constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be in a position to be able to take on a fool's trip like this.
And it has been incredible. I can't even imagine doing anything other than this each day. And these moments seem much more epic than I'll have.
But our whole lives should be a great adventure; a series of those moments that are really good. And while I'm getting a great bank of unique stories through my travels, I don't want to stop having those moments no matter where I am or who I'm with.
The people who mean most to you might not always be there for the whole journey. And sometimes the temporary people will be that one small punctuation in a trip to capture a moment with you and that's all their role in your life will be.
I guess I'm still struggling to accept that this sense of adventure and discomfort is the reality I'm choosing. And while I'm still on this particularly intensive path of self-discovery, it's enough that I experienced these moments and do my best through this blog or my Instagram to share them with you.
So if you are genuinely interested in what this whole adventure is like, don't expect a short answer about singular adventures or the highlights of where I went.