Important: A good book, afraid to turn each page as it will bring me closer to the end of what I have for entertainment, and the fear of loneliness in boredom. Second: an iPhone, memory filled with songs that I can’t bring myself to part from: the likes of old N*sync and The Decemberists songs who have had 10 years of plays, traveling from mini to shuffle to iPhone4, 5 and 6. Sitting back into my independence through endless walks, hikes, city streets, planes, trains and busses. Digging into my cuticles with my thumb: uncomfortable, alone, filling time. Hopes for wifi at this stop or a friendly traveler willing to chat.
Someone recently told me: “serious props to you, but I don’t know how you travel alone.” It’s a combination of necessity and desire to go. Of course, I would love a friend to join me; my boyfriend to share these experiences with, but when no one else is available, my desire to see new things; places and cultures, is insatiable.
I am always armed with phone, camera, book, notebook, headphones and occasionally a laptop to write, research and for movies before bed.
I’ve always been independent. It’s freeing to go it alone. Going somewhere new means no waiting. No going when I’m too exhausted. Hopping from one place to the next, on my own terms. Exploring the world how and when and where I want to see it.
I spent much of today writing - in a coffee shop and then at a pizzeria on the banks of the Ljubljanica River. The weather was confused as to whether it wanted to be warm with the sun straining through a gray hazed sky, or cold from the winds blowing from the Northern mountains.
I have learned so much about myself alone... The basis of who I am with no interruptions. I have reconnected with my love to write, which I lost somewhere in between dance practices and the desire to be popular. Back to Saturday afternoons with my remote keyboard sitting on the couch in front of morning cartoons, and letting the sound dissipate as I create my own stories and I typed what filled my brain. I have found a way to entertain myself in the most boring situations, like waiting for a night bus that seems as if it will never show. I have learned to silence bad thoughts and empty my mind to soak in the genuine beauty around me. I let new people teach me about cultures and feed me life stories until I was full; and then craving more.
I learned how to rely on myself to get out of near robberies and slight panic on the back of a motorbike 70 kilometers from the airport. I have learned how to maneuver situations when losing a debit card (twice) and to appreciate the value of wifi and my ability to speak English.
I have learned the immense power of social media to lead me to new cafes, locations I have never heard of from around the world and to meet locals who share the same passions that I do.
I have learned to appreciate the soundless sleep my boyfriend grants me with after rooms filled with multiple beds and snorers; to appreciate warm water, the toilet and the paper to go along with it.
The thrill that will never subside of getting on a plane and stepping off into a new world; the high of new experiences that I have no desire to sober.