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the magic & discomfort of traveling alone

I missed the last chairlift down the steep, 2,900ft descent and had to walk all the way down,

but didn’t worry about anyone with me or how they would feel about the long, steep return.



I stopped because a butterfly landed on my pant leg

and asked it to flutter up to my hand.

it flew to my pointer finger,

and for a while I talked to it like a little friend

who I had known for a long time, even if it had been years

since our last encounter.


I missed the last chairlift down the steep,

2,900ft descent

and had to walk

all

the

way

down,

but didn’t worry about anyone with me

or how they would feel

about the long, steep return.


I reached out to some strangers on

couchsurfing and asked if they

wanted to meet

up & one very

friendly, generous,

funny and interesting

Austrian badass

said yes

and we spent two days hiking together

and she showed me the best place

to walk through a gorgeous valley

with waterfalls and wildflowers

and end at an alm

where they served the absolute most delicious pastry

I will never remember the name of.

We drank elderflower syrup with sparkling water

and fresh pressed apple juice

and ate this sinful, delicious, fried pastry

filled with homemade jam.


But most importantly

alone

I am myself without the gaze of another.

I am myself without the gaze of a dear familiar

who knows me one way

and expects me to be so.

I am myself without the gaze

of a new but consistent

travel companion

who is observing & noting &

trying to puzzle me together

so to know

what to expect.

I am myself without a third party fact checker

or a supportive stone to lean on

or a consistent other to weigh in opinions, observations, noticings,

complaints, compliments, emotions about the journey.

I am uncomfortable and lonely

sometimes, & must persist through,

self-mothering, self-loving, self-regulating, self-initiating;

it is just me.


me and my journey.

whoever I am

right now.

This doesn’t mean I believe that

alone

is best

always.


This doesn’t mean I believe that

i am my number one

top priority

always.


This doesn’t mean that I don’t value

meaningful, loving community

over almost

anything.


This means I believe

in travelling

alone

often.


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