It is a wonderful thing to be walking in the dead centre, the beating heart of a dream, but truth be told there are times when travelling alone really isn’t all that much fun.
Those times are made up of the moments I don’t usually care to share.
The woman in the street who slapped me because I didn’t buy anything off her stall. The hotel manager who rampaged around my room calling me a dirty girl and then tried to kiss me. The touts who lie to me about the ticket price, time, type and then ask me out.
There are the times when I get the map muddled, when I can’t make myself understood and want to scream with frustration at seeming stupid and ignorant rather than just out of vocab and low on energy.There are times when it all seems simply insurmountable.
There are times when I am lonely – when I don’t want to work it out on my own, when the locks are broken and I’m jumpy with jitters, when I’d really like to split a plate, when there is no one to talk to, when I want someone to hold my bag so I don’t have to put it down in the questionable puddle on the toilet floor…
There are times when I need someone so desperately that it is hard to accept I have to be the whole of that person, the whole of my strength and weakness, all by myself.
Sometimes I am sad and I want someone else to hold on to, a shoulder to nap on, someone to tell me it will be all right.
There are days when I long for a lover, when I huff and puff and storm at fate or destiny or chance for dragging its feet and taking so much time to send Mr Right along. But I’ve realised that through this journey, like it or not, I’ve have learned to better be my lover by myself, that I am my own gift.
I’ve learned to be generous – to splurge on the sleeping bag that will keep me warm, to gift myself days of nothing, of glorious waste, to spoil myself and buy it because I like it.
I’ve learned to forgive myself the goof ups, to put it down instead of picking it back up.
I’ve learned to listen to the things I don’t always know how to speak, to wait on understanding.
I’ve learned to have faith in my own judgement, to trust that there will be a way to work things out.
It is true that I am no less alone in having learned to be better solo company. There are spaces that I cannot fill, places I can’t warm.
But I have become a better lover for learning to love myself better and that is a lesson that seems well worth the learning.