Before travel I lived in a social world, one where being alone was a collective fear. One where I made plans to spend time with those I loved, but oftentimes life would get in the way. It was a world where I bumped into friends at the supermarket, and insisted we should plan something. Really, we should get together. And I meant it. But I lived for the weekend- which was Tuesday- where I would cram all my quality time with good friends into a few hours. It wasn’t enough. Seven months ago I took a break from that world to travel on my own. And, you know what? The life I left behind was a lot lonelier than the one I live now.
Back in my social world, time with myself was usually spent waiting for something, or thinking too much about shit that didn’t matter. When my world was regimented it was harder to make new friends precisely because it took a painfully long time to reveal my true self to anyone. I walked around in suppressed agony that “no one gets me.”
Thankfully, travel helped me to dissolve fear of the self. I embrace the time I spend alone, because I enjoy myself. I care less about the things that don’t matter, and because of that, I come into relationships more organically. I value my relationships, however short and spontaneous. I marvel at the regularity in which people come into my life, and affect me with even a single act.
And just as I value the relationships that I cultivate in my traveling life, I’ve become better at spotting those relationships that don’t serve me. There are people I’ve needed to say goodbye to, so I could get back out on my own. Because, it’s just better to travel alone than it is to be lonely traveling with the wrong person.