So, now that Jim has an assignment in Scotland, I am alone in Bolivia. Well, not really alone of course. Marlies and Abad are here, and since I stay at their place, you can hardly call it being on my own. And in Peru I was with friends. So, it would be more accurate would be to say, Jim and I are not together at the moment.
And even though I usually don’t mind it, it still feels strange after being together most of the time these last couple of months. And it is a long time since I have been away from Jim for more than two weeks (it is over two weeks now since he left for Europe).
I always thought traveling on your own had a lot of charm. You know, about being able to connect easier with other people, having time for deep inner reflections, getting to know yourself better, and having the freedom to choose your own speed and path.
Especially when reading the books of modern explorers such as Paul Theroux and John Steinbeck (authors who at least pretend to travel alone). Or watching road movies of people trekking on their own, or driving long distances and meeting all these interesting people, I feel attracted to a similar adventure. And straight away start planning something for myself, wondering when it would be suitable to do the same.
And here I am, more or less on my own, having the chance to realise this dream. And all I wish is to share this time with Jim. I miss going for our walk or run together in the morning and planning our day. I miss gossiping about the people we meet or, if there is nothing to gossip about, making up our own stories. I miss sharing my daily experiences (for example, telling him about the amazing week in Peru with Sandra and Annelies, other than via What’s App or Skype) or exchanging how our work is going. I miss even arguing. Of course, I can do all of this with Marlies, Abad or even my new friends and the people I meet. But that is just not the same. And I realise how much I take Jim’s company for granted. How normal I find it that he would be interested, and will always have the time to listen to my stories.
Of course, these last couple of weeks have been great. And I cannot deny that it has been easier, than when we’re together, to connect with others, and that it is pleasant to be more free to plan my day and not have to take someone else’s plans into consideration. So, yes, there is great charm to being on your own and being able to explore and experience at your own pace. And there is more room for deeper insights.
But no, I can’t get used to it. And, if I honest with myself, I prefer to share my experiences on the way, and for now, preferably with Jim. And I think that this is probably the most important and deepest insight of these last couple of weeks. A good and valuable thing to remember for the more difficult times that undoubtedly will come our way in the future.