I don’t know how to travel anymore. Or at least this is how it feels. My feet are getting itchy again after a month of staying in one place yet I cannot muster the courage to hit BOOK FLIGHT. And for a change that is not due to my credit card staring at me with hate.
The world used to be my oyster. I could always relate to this saying, I took comfort in the fact that there was so much to see, explore, love. Comfort that I could go somewhere, often on a whim, and reinvent myself, discover new lives, make friends with strangers. I wasn’t set on a place, stuck in my ways because I didn’t have to be.
Now the whole world just reminds me of him, what was lost and what I don’t have anymore. The irony isn’t lost on me as I used to be the woman telling others to go out into the world, to conquer, to explore, to wander and to wonder on their own. Who needs one man when the whole world seemingly loves you? I truly used to feel this way, I used to be the Girl Who Travels long before he called me so and right now I am not. It feels like I have lost part of my identity with my heartbreak and while I see a new one forming somewhere deep down I haven’t quite grasped what it is all about.
Grasping is painful. Grasping is forcing me to take a good hard look in the mirror and at the same time allow myself to be vulnerable, imperfect, just me without constantly trying to improve that me. Either of these tasks isn’t easy, finding a balance between the two of them almost impossible.
I know that it is just a sign of change. One step forward, two back and maybe a little shimmy sideways. Change is good they say but change is also damn uncomfortable. I know both sides well, change is a very familiar partner in my life, forcing itself in, seldom invited but usually sorely needed. I trust it though I may not welcome it at times. But I do know that change is good.
Right now, I can do nothing else but welcome it and rely on experience that the change will once again bring good things. Someone has made that decision for me and there is no turning back and the control freak in me doesn’t like the fact that someone else’s ‘no’ has made the decision for me. I don’t like it one bit and wish I was little again so I could stomp my feet at it. Alas, that is not appropriate adult behavior and so I write and write and write, hoping that the goodness of the change will hurry up a little bit.
The whole situation has left me drifting. Usually, I am a drifter by choice and I don’t even mind, but right now I am craving stability, a companion, intimacy, even love. Things I never valued as much as long as I had the world, that oyster, at my feet. I was never that woman who wanted to hold hands during sunset and kept a wedding album under her bed when she was little, I was always just the Girl Who Travels…
I have stood still in all ways possible for the last month. Trying once again, still to just be with my discomfort. Allowing the change to do its thing, not judge, be gentle with myself and to the world. I have tried to let go of 2017 with as much grace as possible, Buddha said it is one of those things that matter most, and have welcomed 2018 and all its possibilities with open arms and a hopeful smile.
With that my innate planning nature has returned, excited by new opportunities, countries to return to, countries to fall in love with. For now Seychelles, Mauritius or Zanzibar? My favorite part of trip planning is hotel research. Who is a contender for the pillow nirvana list, where can I sleep in a tree house, and honestly, Zanzibar has to win as it has the only hotel with an underwater room in the ocean. But with every treehouse picture, sunset view and the notion of creepy crawlies around, I start to hesitate. I don’t want to go on my own anymore.
I plan for the time after. A few months in South East Asia where so many spots vividly remind me of him or my misery or finally Mexico and Central America, a place we considered traveling to together?
I know I should be grateful to even have the choice but right now I can’t make it despite my fidgety feet. The Girl Who Travels is still here but she doesn’t want to travel right now at least not as she used to – alone. Every solomoon eventually comes to an end and reality must set in and I wonder if this is my reality for now.
Whenever I asked my wonderful friend and yoga teacher how long I would have to lie still in Savasanah, not a pose I cherish, he would simply reply: until you lose the urge to get up. I will take his advice and apply it to my life right now. I will stand still until I lose the urge to move on, until the good that change brings is here, until I decide on a destination not to forget or run but to cherish and embrace.
I don’t know if I will have travel companion or venture alone, but I do know that love means sometimes taking the dreaded middle seat – even for the Girl Who Travels.