In the end, breakups are fantastic. What a great growth experience! Out with the stasis, in with the gapingly open, red heart and in with the new-found world! And yet… breakups– especially travel breakups– are a blow to the soul.
I have been dumped by my twenty year old British boy roommate. Pity me.
We’d been sitting together on the beach for about an hour with nothing to talk about. Let’s be clear: we have been roommates, nothing more, BUT it truly is (in the words of my students) “mad awkward” to have absolutely nothing to talk about with your roommate.
The self doubt tsunamied. What did I do??? Was I creepy? Old? Was my gray hair showing? Had I been messy with the dirty clothes spilling from my backpack? Where oh where did we go wrong???
I tried to calm my hyperventilating with the understanding that– come on now– it really is healthier to hang with folks your own age.
However, this was the second blow to my mushy woman heart this strange, semi-lonely week. I’d been hangin’ with these two great Scottish lads for a whole bunch of days, when a torrential rainstorm hit and neither of us was able to make it to the designated reunion point. Days passed, and none of us had the others’ contact information to arrange any other reunion… just the stars and telepathy. We had lost each other! The pain!
Then, miracle of miracles, the day before the men were to fly out and disappear forever, I spotted them eating fish in a crowded restaurant. “Neal! Dave!” I screamed, sprinting up to them with open arms.
The men looked up nonchalantly. “Oh. Hi.”
“Um,” I awkwardly put down my hug-hands, “Weren’t you looking for me all these days, too?”
“Nah,” Neal said, going back to his red snapper, “We’re blokes. We figured we’d run into you again, or not. You meet so many people, you know, so whatever.”
Thus flows the push-pull tide of travel groups. It’s rather fantastic, ultimately. Being open, independent, and utterly free is a MAJOR reason I’m traveling for a year. That said, it all does take a bit of a backbone to get used to.
Smooches to Facebook, Skype, and Email for keeping those true steady friends and family at home within reach, and smooches to all of them for being there for me, electronically!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!