Before the trip we crossed paths but didn’t interact, for fear of kindling a dormant connection into a roaring blaze.
On the road, however, she appeared with more frequency and eventually I broke the ice. But only for a brief re-introduction. To the test the waters. It was a terrific dip, accompanied by memories of extended white and red days.
As the trip progressed she appeared with more frequency but for less duration, wisps in the air before disappearing, brief encounters leaving no time to get truly reacquainted.
Not until I made an extended stop where she had friends, and because she has friends, she was there. Both of us in the same place with time together, together.
I got to know her quite well, meeting up in the dark-as-night but still lit afternoons, the many nights, out on the town with friends, the spark of a new relationship, glowing.
After briefly splitting, I made a special stop to see her, to hang, relight the embers of our relationship. There were others, friends of friends and such, but it was really just us. People floated in and out but we were together all day, day after day, city to city.
We made the best, living, from city to city, walking alone through Old Towns, hopping from hostel to hostel, as we both experienced first hand some of the craziest experiences of my trip. We shared good times together, then parted, then back together, over and over.
We had a bond, symbiotic. Long walks down streets and back alleys of amazing cities, just us. Her whispering inspired ideas for me to scribble in my notebook. Her pointing out different angles, different mediums, different views, amazed I hadn’t before seen life like she showed me. Together we lustfully embraced creativity, pushing for more ideas, more notes in my Moleskin, more pictures, pushing to elevate higher higher higher.
Together we dreamed, created and imagined, floating here and there, just the two of us, solo.
In the lonely cities, when the hostels were less crowded, slowwww, we explored the back roads, missioning late at nights, mutually making friends, truly breathing deeply of life. Our friendship, in full force, supported me during times that, had I been alone, would have left me stumbling through a dark tunnel, searching for flickers of escape. She was there to fill the hole left by travel friends who came and went.
She offered a ray of light that allowed me to kick back and slow down, to think about my life, differently, to comprehend where I stood with what the world was throwing at me, to escape to a bird’s eye view of my life.
She provided an escape door that led right back to my life, but from a different view, a different angle. We spent time together, running, not from but into, scheming, living, sharpening, iron and iron.. kind of…
But our relationship moved quickly, strengthening, too quickly, overwhelmingly. I didn’t want us to get too close, it would hurt too much in the long run.
I’ve never been one for commitment and would rather be touch and go, from time to time, meeting up for a whirlwind experience, an occasional fling, rather than remaining stuck, cemented.
Life was great together, she really helped me see the world differently, encouraging me to expand and grow at a crucial season of life, but now it was time to rely on myself, to be independent. Solo, pushing forward, self-supported, creating, from mental to tangible.
She escorted me from the central station to the airport, through security, as we farewell wandered the airport, inspiring a few last thoughts as we cruised the precision stimulation of the terminal, her whispering a few final ideas for me to pursue, alone.
We split at the gate, as I went through the line, no words needed, just a nod. No farewell traditions, no waiting until someone walks out of sight, wave wave wave, no, none of that.
Just a simple head nod, in respect, a farewell.. for now.