Cambodia, always Cambodia
The best roommate ever, Cambodia
From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy, Sri Lanka
On the way to Varanasi, India
The Himalayas, Nepal
So it’s been more than a year since I wrote here. Shit went down, big time. In good ways and bad ways. My last post alluded to me going to stay in a homestay in the middle of nowhere, and it ended up being exactly the adventure I’d set out to find on my trip.
I lived on an island off the coast of Cambodia for four months. A year ago today, I was there, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I learned a lot and fucked up along the way, but had one of the best summers of my life. I learned that, well, island paradise life isn’t for everyone…but it’s ok to live it and enjoy it for awhile.
I left, a heart heavy and pretty lost, and went to Sri Lanka with a dear friend. And then India, which I hated. And loved. But mostly hated. And then onwards to Nepal, a place I’d dreamed of for years and really, it wasn’t quite what I expected (but of course, that’s how it always goes). Then I met a boy in the Himalayas. Despite us both thinking it would just be a holiday fling, and that we’d be fine saying goodbye as good travel partners and a little something more at the end, we both eventually ended up deciding to be more than that. I never do things the easy way.
Problem is, he’s got two passports and neither of them are the same as mine.
So I’m headed to London in the fall and we’re going to see how things turn out. You know those couples you meet on the road, who are both travellers and met somewhere along the way? You never know if they’ll work out once the show is all over, once someone has to go back home or onto the next continent, but somehow we’ve been making this thing work for awhile now. And I’ve learned more about negotiation, communication, emotional honesty, and myself than I ever did travelling alone. It’s the most challenging, exciting, and adventurous thing I’ve ever done, and he’s a really good travel partner to boot.
I’ve been back in the States for 8 months now, trying to figure it all out and saving up for the next adventure, and to be honest…it’s been a totally shit year so far, excepting a few highlights. Being 4600 miles away from my guy certainly hasn’t made it easy, even though he came and visited for Mardi Gras and we went to Memphis and Chicago and decided we were actually dating. I’ve loved seeing friends from home, dear friends that I truly missed. And my relationship with my family is the best that it’s ever been, which has been eye-opening.
And I’ve realized that a life of never-ending travel isn’t the road for me. I want to freedom and the money to come back and visit when I feel so homesick that seeing American flags makes me want to cry. National holidays mean so much more to me than I ever realized and I don’t want to miss that kind of stuff, miss weddings and birthdays and everyone’s life.
I’m going to have to figure out the path that I’ll take now. I’ve been struggling with this for awhile while I’ve been waiting tables and – well – feeling like a loser doing so. Pretty much the only thing that’s made me feel better has been friends here, and friends who’ve always been there for me. I have to begin a different journey now. Is it going to be a home base in London (UK visas why you hate me)? In Berlin? In New York City? I have no idea. I know things that I really want to do, and have always dreamed of doing, but they aren’t paths that allow for much travelling, or at least the kind of travelling I live to do.
Hopefully in a month I’ll start posting some happier stuff when I’m back on the road again. Seattle first, then Iceland (!!!) for a few days, then London for…? Maybe some stops around Europe as well.
I still have oodles of stories that need to be chronicled somewhere so I’ll try my best to write them down. The Fellowship and how I still miss them and think of them every single day, the Darjeeling toy train, the Himalayas, international, trans-continental relationships, Jaffna, wanting desperately to go to Malaysia, wanting to go back to school, not going on a Great West American road trip (what the fuck was I thinking), never really knowing if people I work with believe my stories, BANGKOK. So many stories to tell.