I Don't Want to Solo Travel Anymore

I don’t want to travel alone anymore.

There. I said it out loud. I admitted it.

I’ve got so used to being a lone wolf, sitting with myself in chaos and in silence. Amongst hellish situations and on paradise beaches. I’ve been trampled on by life’s situations while I've been wounded, and been so close to unity that I felt like God. And though I'm weary and scarred, deep down, something in me that has witnessed it all alone has remained unchanged.

I’m not lonely. I just don’t want to do it all on my own anymore.

Sometimes, my quest to not need anybody or anything makes me venture out solo, even when I don’t want to. It feels like such a romantic idea: and in some ways it is, going out on adventures around the globe like a solo pioneer, being able to get up at any moment and have the road be your home. But lately I've realised that sometimes I force myself to do it alone in the name of 'independence'. I don't have to anymore.

Christopher McCandless, who the book Into The Wild is about, spent his life on a solo adventure, only to come up with the philosophy: "Life is best shared." I've been to some of the most beautiful places on Earth: waterfalls in Thailand, Dinosaur-shaped beaches in Bali, Fairytale Lagoons in Guatemala. But what does it all mean if you can't share the memory and the moment with someone else?

I’ve always struggled with the idea of sharing my life. I share my possessions, give my affection and time freely to my friends, hold space for the people in my orbit that need it, write out my deepest thoughts for anyone who wants to read it. But intimacy. Sharing my bed. My room. My skin. It scares me. Maybe that’s why I need to do it.

I used to think the superficial signifiers that the gay and instagram world made me crave were the reasons that I could not be intimate. You know, the “I don’t have abs, so I won’t get a nice boyfriend. I can’t afford nice clothes or a swankier place to live, I haven't nabbed that elite job that gives me satisfaction or a decent paycheck - so I must not be worthy of having an amazing person come into my life..” and all that garbage.

I used to think I had to impress people on the surface. But I actually think it’s deeper than that. What if someone sees through me? Sees that I'm just a swirling void of insecurities and contradictions? What if someone realises that I can be quite selfish and shallow, or not as clever as I think I am? But then the magic thought comes out: what if someone helps me see myself? Helps me find things that I can’t find alone? What if someone helps me become a better person?

Someone clearly wiser than me said: “You can go fast alone. You can go further, together.” I have been to four continents alone, and tasted such a variety of life that I'm sure it spills over four lifetimes. But what if I’ve gone as far as I can alone? What if it’s time for a new adventure?

What if I want to answer to somebody? What if I want to participate in someone else’s secret world, the garden of their mind where only I can see their weeds and their flowers? What if I want to be called out on my shit, and someone to see through my patterns, or my particularly verbose brand of crazy? Here I am then. Whoever you are. Come find me. Go on then. Call me out on my shit. And bring yours too.

Wherever you are, I’ll take you - you chaotic, complicated and imperfect human being. And see me for who I am - a chaotic, complicated and imperfect man who’s just trying to get his heart in a better place.

Come and hold my hand. And even though I'll shake it off because I'll still pretend that I don’t need anybody, hold it anyways.

And let me put my head in that nook - the crevice where your armpit meets your chest. And let me lay there, spinning around all my neurotic nonsense while you scroll through your phone. And let me sleep as I hear you breathing next to me, and lie there as I wake and move things back and forth around the room so it feels like i’m doing something productive.

I’ve been waiting my lifetime for you. Wherever you are.