A lot of people ask me if I don’t feel alone, traveling such a long time by myself, 420 days now. If I don’t miss my home and my friends.
Truth be told, there’s too much happening to really miss something or someone. It’s like an adrenaline rush of new things. I hardly have time to reflect, let alone miss anything.
Which doesn’t mean I never think of my friends – I am in touch with most, by mail – or wish they were here, for a drink, a conversation with someone I do know for a long time – e.g. longer than maximum four weeks…
However, I cannot imagine doing this trip in any other way than doing it alone, by myself.
I enjoy being my own boss. I don’t have to coordinate with anyone, make compromises. I do what I want.
In the long run, I doubt any friendship or partnership would survive such a long term trip (if it has not been thoroughly healthy and grounded in the start).
I realized this recently when I joined a friend in his travels through India. And while sometimes this can be fun and a good decision, it also can go wrong.
You need to know the other person pretty well to be able to travel together. I can go on a long trip with my sister, I can travel with my friend Sven. And to a degree also with a whole lot of other friends.
If you know each other well and the spaces you need, and respect that need for space, it usually goes well. Sometimes though it doesn’t.
We didn’t know each other well enough to do this.
And certainly not well enough to share a room with, to which I agreed, after some hesitation, thinking it might be cheaper and more fun, for once, not to be on my own.
It’s no drama that it didn’t work, if you react once you realize that. I needed to get back into my own space quickly, before things degenerated too much.
The whole episode made me realize that, by now, I have a pretty low tolerance level for any bullshit, games, or being pushed into something I don’t want. And when I don’t do it, being punished for it.
I cannot stay out of some weird sense of obligation, and bend over backwards to meet someone else’s expectations.
Which also manifested itself in other ways during this trip, another friendship I might have lost along the way, which I may or may not blog about in the future.
I would say I am pretty relaxed, hard to get excited about anything. I try to take life as it is, make compromises with the people I care about, and enjoy life. I try not to have any expectations.
Which does not mean I do not care. I do. I just don’t see a point in a fight. If you push me too far though, once the switch is turned, it’s over. And I’m not willing to take any more of it.
I’m also too old for this. I’m 39. I don’t want to waste my time with useless power games and manipulations.
And I don’t want to have any part of this trip spoiled by moody swings and games of people I travel with.
And I think, one of the bigger changes of this trip is a better tuned sensor of what is good for me and what is not.
And if it is not, to listen to my gut feeling and put an end to it. Not sit there and smile and endure a situation that I know I am not comfortable with.
Long story short, I removed myself from the equation and used my accumulated points to treat myself to four free days in the luxury Radisson in Khajurahoo, India, including its pool.
Honestly, after a bunch of scratchy blankets, I needed some heavenly beds.