It was just easier to start calling him my boyfriend—to other travelers, hostel owners, the Thai police—because otherwise he was “this English boy I just happen to be traveling with and splitting everything with and spending all my time with right now,” which is long, and vaguely misleading.
So that happened, which solidified our relationship on the outside, but, with his impending one-way international flight booked for Thursday, it hasn’t really made anything simpler.
We rent a motorbike to explore Koh Tao and from the start I can feel that the shop owner has it out for us. The next day, he holds my passport hostage for a $150 USD fine, yelling at me when I try to negotiate, and I fall apart. While I (gracelessly) continue my dive training, the English boy sorts it out with a trip to the police station, and while I feel so lucky to have someone like this on my side, my immediate deference to him makes me angry at myself. A month ago I could’ve, would’ve fixed it all myself. I am more comfortable and happier right now than I’ve been my whole trip, but also lazier and more dependent—a tradeoff I’m far from satisfied with.
I have been ripped off more times than I can count on this trip, which I expected and accept. Except, there are three times that I can pick out when I was especially unhappy with the outcome, and all three were times when I felt that something was wrong from the start, possibly voiced my concern, but then ignored my gut because someone else told me it was okay. I didn’t trust myself, and so those times there was no one to blame but myself, really, and I always blame myself hard.
I don’t know what happens after Thursday. I’ve sort of tried this before, but I freaked out with us a continent apart, and I’m still ashamed at the silence I left in the wake of such a good friendship.
Plus, the English boy and I are both jealous creatures with strong personalities, and with me returning to solo traveler life and him returning to a solidly stable life, I think there is a high possibility of misunderstanding. We’ve already had far too many face-to-face falling outs, and it doesn’t take long before you forget the details that come with living another sort of lifestyle.
We talk about me coming to visit England this summer, an obviously temporary solution and one that, if I’m being honest, I don’t even know if we’ll follow through with. I keep asking myself: would we have even liked each other if we had met in one of our home countries, under normal circumstances? I don’t know. And a lot can happen in a few months.