Solo travel has made me selfish. Or, rather, what’s the positive word for knowing what you want and just doing it, regardless of the people around you?
I just said goodbye to a new friend who came with me from the orphanage to Chiang Mai and I feel lighter. Not that I didn’t like traveling with her, but after five months of independence, even just having to consult with another person when making plans felt stifling. It feels good to be back on my own.
I have become a expert at leaving people. My friendships tend to reset every four or five days… and I kind of like it that way.
We don’t really ever say goodbye, though. The backpacker trail is so well-worn—almost predictable—that you tend to run into people again eventually… and I kind of like it that way, too.
I think I’ve ruined myself for future relationships. I met a few couples at the orphanage, and their complete dependence on each other bordered on insane, in my eyes. I never want to be so reliant on another person that I can’t work out a bucket shower alone, and I don’t think I’d ever get used to constantly telling another person where I am. I need freedom in a way that I never did before.
I find myself angry at my Houston friends for their total lack of contact with me—or, really, I am angry at myself for my utter failure to keep in touch with them.
After so much time together, why is it so easy for us to end friendships once our location is no longer convenient?
I tell him to wait for me, that I will meet him in New York in six months. I urge him to travel with me and envision us exploring a new continent together.
But I can’t tell if I’m lying. I don’t know if I want to—or if I even can—shed this solo travel skin.