2 Weeks in the Company of Strangers

Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it. – Cesare Pavese

As much as I find travelling alone easier and more enjoyable, I can already tell missing friends is going to be the most difficult aspect to deal with.
The banter and familiarity, not having to explain yourself and people “just getting you”.
The inside jokes, a knowing look or even just a single word at the right moment, reducing me to a giggling pile on the floor.

It’s been a while since I laughed, and I mean truly laughed. The 2hr call to a friend on Sunday is testament to how much my friends mean to me. I don’t talk on the phone! You’ve tried ringing me in the past, right?
Hearing a familiar voice and being able to just be me and speak total bollocks was just what I needed.
Yeah, there’s email but there’s no substitute for good old fashioned human interaction.

The other thing we take for granted is work and as much as we complain about having to turn up every day, there’s the social aspect too. I was fortunate to get along well with my colleagues and there was much banter and frivolity in the office. While we didn’t socialise often, I spent more time with them than with friends. At least 35hrs a week in fact!

Being off season there aren’t many people around. Mostly couples and the odd loner. The others staying at the guest house are friendly and we’ve had some good chats, but they’re not the sort of people I want to hang out or do stuff with. There’s also a superficialness about it all. Everyone’s too polite, no one’s being themselves … including me. I’m sure as time passes this will change, for me anyway, and there will come a point where I actually don’t give a shit anymore.

Usually I’m not one to hold back and I’m known for speaking my mind (no cheeky comments from the peanut gallery, thank you) but I’m most certainly out of my comfort zone and still finding my feet.

I guess what I’m trying to say is currently there’s a great big gaping hole in my life. Travelling to exotic and interesting places is some distraction but there are times (like last night) I wish I was back in London surrounded by friends.

Oh and have I mentioned how dire the booze situation is over here?? I’m contemplating giving up drinking altogether.


One thought on “2 Weeks in the Company of Strangers

  1. I find traveling alone for long periods of time very difficult. That’s why I do a lot of trips with family, my partner, or friends if we’re lucky enough to have matching days off.

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