The (lonely) road less travelled…

A feeling of melancholy has settled over me the past few days. Not the excited nervousness I usually get when hitting the road again and off to a new country and new adventures. I have warm weather and beautiful beaches to look forward to, and yet my mind is dwelling on…

I’m actually not sure what it’s dwelling on to be honest. I leave good friends behind in San Diego, but it’s not that. I’m leaving with a few regrets about things I didn’t do and things I didn’t say to certain people during my three months in the US, but it’s not that either.

Perhaps it’s the growing realisation of just how lonely my current life style can be? I’m “living the life” according to many I meet, running my business online while living and travelling anywhere in the world. Yet unless you’re lucky enough to meet someone you can share that life with, that freedom does come with a price…

New friends I make on the road are in truth more like acquaintances. Not because they’re any less worthy of friendship than those I do regard as friends, but simply because it’s only under exceptional circumstances that knowing someone for a few days would be enough time to form a true connection (and I don’t mean the Facebook “friend” kind of connection…).

And even in places I spend a little more time, such as my nine months in Buenos Aires, or my five months in Cusco and later Quito, the relationships I form are always tempered with the knowledge that I may only be around for a few months, and then…?

Meanwhile the friends I do have, the friends I’ve grown to know over many years together, we drift  just that little bit further apart year by year of my time on the road. Some will remain friends for life, I have no doubt about that, but the relationship changes a little the longer we remain disconnected from each others’ lives. Just as the painful memory of losing a loved one is slowly dulled with the passing of time, so the relationship between even very close friends can often lose a little of its intensity and depth with the passing years. It’s through nobody’s fault, it’s merely two people growing and changing separately from one another, it’s simply human nature.

And so part of me wonders what will become of my true friendships while I continue to chase the unknown that I seem to be seeking…?

Or is this all just the mindless ramblings of someone who’s had far too little sleep in recent weeks, and everything will be sorted by sunshine and the warm Pacific Ocean, and a half dozen or so tequilas?

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