I meet five 20-year-old Australian boys on my Halong Bay tour and within 24 hours I have proposed marriage, heckled one into going kayaking in the freezing cold water, been invited to share their room, eaten every meal with them, woken them up to drink snake whiskey with me, and teased them all; when it comes time to leave, the crew thinks I came with them and searches through the pile of Australian passports trying to find mine.
I’ve been traveling with three English boys for more than a week now, which hasn’t happened since the Camino.
It doesn’t sound like much, but a week is ages when you spend so much time together without much privacy. Still, every new person we meet assumes we’ve been together much longer based on our comfort level and banter.
And then suddenly I’m traveling down the coast in part of a proper couple, I think. It’s been so long that I’m not entirely sure, but it’s been nice to have someone to cuddle up with on the bus.
My Vietnam visa is a month; I wonder how long this will last.
Back in Laos, I explained to the Dutch boy that I’m a wanderer. At every bar, party, hostel, or tour you probably won’t find me with anyone I came with because I’m too busy talking to new people.
The English boy thinks this is hilarious, and jokes that he can always hear me chatting up another guy across the bar when he’s drinking with his friends. But then they turn the music off at the end of the night, and I find him to get a kebab and go home with his arm around me. I think this might be the only type of relationship I can handle right now.
He is the first person I call when I get my new phone because I still need some reassurance, and I know he’ll say the right thing.
But this time it sounds like distant concern, like I’m slowly becoming too risky of a hand to gamble on.
And then I finally ask the question we never talk about, which is maybe a mistake. I think the worst part about it is the pause before he replies because he knows it will break my heart.
I finally finish the last Game of Thrones book on the overnight bus and it makes me miss you equally as much as it makes me feel like I’ve finished with you as well.
Words are wind, but please tell me: what happens to Dany without her bloodriders?