It’s two in the morning and I just woke up from a nightmare. A nightmare of you and I. What was once a dream just turned into bad images I get in my sleep. I used to always write about my feelings, the ones that involve romantic heartbeats and frustrations. But that was when I was younger – you know, puberty hormones. When my friends knew that I’ll be traveling alone indefinitely, they got excited not for the places that I’ll be exploring but for the chance of me finding someone who would take my breath away. I shrugged it off. That’s not even in my priorities. The main purpose was to know more about the world and myself. The thought of someone who’d take my breath away while traveling alone is beyond my expectations and not even close to any possibilities. At least, that’s what I thought.
My decision to quit my job and chose the life of travel was never easy. It might appear that I am “living the life” but it’s never that easy. Don’t be fooled by the images that you see on my social media pages because a lot of hardships were given behind that facade. Choosing this lifestyle was made easier, at least, because I am single; I had no family (well, except for my brother in the Philippines). I had no commitment and I could leave everything just like that because I only had myself. If being independent is what we are going to put in line, well, I used to always believe that I am good at being alone because I always was.
Be Yourself and Enjoy
One thing that solo travel has taught me is to be my own self and be unapologetic with the things I enjoy so long as I don’t step on anyone. There were nights of dancing in the middle of the street, drowning myself in alcohol, lazy days, workaholic days, getting hazed up, working out, basically doing the things I always wanted to do in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. This is the life I always wanted – a carefree one – the life I never tried because I was too busy living up to society’s expectations.
The article I wrote about 9 Things Solo Female Travel Has Taught Me talked about how this journey taught me how to let go. It’s true, I have learned how to treasure people I meet along the road and learn to let go knowing that we have different lives and roads to take while somehow hoping that the roads meet again in the future. To be honest, I am not the best person to talk to when it comes to letting go. My life is all about giving it all and always hoping for results that I hold onto things and people. It’s unfortunate that sometimes, I tend to not lose grip from something intangible or does not even exist. I told you I suck at this but solo travel taught me to not cling onto attachments.
Life can really be surprising, may it be in a good way or the other. When you think you are at the heights of enjoying your life and yourself, you’ll go to the next destination and meet someone. Of course, you still have the mindset that everything is just for fun and that you are just enjoying your life. Until hours, days, and even months came where you see yourself being with the same person since day one. The unfamiliar place became familiar so as the person. So familiar that you wouldn’t imagine yourself leaving. That’s what happened to me in Vietnam.
The excitement was all I had the moment I hopped on that plane from Bangkok to Hanoi. The thought of meeting new people, eating new food, exploring new places, and discovering a new culture – the things that make a wanderlust’s heart jump – that’s what I had in mind. Then life will unexpectedly slap you on the face and make you forget what you were set to do. The next thing you see is yourself in another man’s arms giving you the feeling you never thought you were longing for. That’s where I found myself – in a young man’s arms. The next day, I tried to convince myself that I am better than any of the feelings I had, but to no luck. I always knew what I wanted until this Vietnam journey came.
Being a strong independent woman is so overused but I still chose to live up to that trying to let myself just binge into the feeling because the universe knows that soon enough, I need to keep moving. Three weeks were all I had to stay in Vietnam and when it came, he asked me to stay (he’s gonna deny this) so I did. It was stupid, I thought, but I was loving what I was feeling and I am never the one to fool and hinder myself from doing what I wanted to do, at least not that time.
Fun is what it was until we got attached and everything got fucked up. Who wants to show vulnerability when you had agreed that everything was just for fun? I did not care and showed my vulnerability anyways. Attachments are never good for something like this but being together almost 24/7 for months, staying in the same room, seeing each other laugh and cry, knowing each other’s interests, and even mood swings, I guess I don’t want to be hard on myself and take all the blame because the situation was meant to get me attached.
I Was Happy
Weeks and months passed and what was once happiness slowly turned into a toxic substance trying to consume every capability of understanding I had. Understanding everything and being considerate is something I am always good at, but I think I had enough. I no longer have the energy to understand something that is meant to be just like that. It takes two to tango even when clarifying things up. The blame was all on me and I take it even if that means I am giving him the pass to feel good about himself. At least, for the last time, I still give him what he wanted like what I always did.
Truth be told I was happy and I must admit that it was the closest to a relationship I had. I always say that I do not know the feeling of being loved but somehow, I felt loved by him and the feeling was good. Being difficult to love is what I am as I intimidate people without even trying. My mind works like a bomb that guys get scared of being wounded but he chose to witness the explosion. The mood swings I have are like death pool but he took the plunge. The care I show to people I love is overwhelming but he took that all in. I am sure that he loved the attention he got. I wish we can stay the same for the longest time possible but that possibility has come to an end. No regrets. I was happy and thankful.
He Is Someone Who Took My Breath Away As I Travel Alone
The feeling of being stuck as you travel was never a good feeling. The decision of traveling solo was to not feel stuck in the first place. He took my breath away that I got stuck and I am happy about that. Stuck in love they say. It was something I did not sign up for whilst traveling alone but it was surprisingly beautiful. A rollercoaster ride is what it was and now that the ticket has expired, I am leaving the amusement park and ready to find joy outside it. We got to keep moving on.
The life of solo travels is really full of surprises. It offers you things you won’t be expecting. It gives you feelings you think you are not capable of. He is my unexpected destination.