Solo Travel Loneliness – Gratitude where Grief is always Present
One of the lesser-known parts and certainly one of the least talked about parts of solo traveling is the loneliness. Yes, it’s life changing, soul smacking, spirit enhancing, though provoking wonder, but with it also comes a sense of despair. Especially if said solo traveling was born out of a loss or two.
Dining solo has the ability to conjure up those feelings pretty well as does getting lost. Even sharing pizza with the locals and engaging in friendly Spanglish conversation can invoke the part of me longing to share those moments with someone special. Dining al fresco in Peru’s Sacred Valley shakes up memories of my mother, making me wish she were there to enjoy the South American seafood as much as I.
Whenever I stumble upon a striking scene that only nature could provide and photos could never do justice, I experience a longing for someone to ooh and ah with. The ability to write about that moment is the next best thing. To describe its beauty in precise words so that my readers can envision it in their mind is priceless. But to also write about the void, the emptiness between the pictures snapped and the valley breezes felt, that takes more time. It takes more care, a willingness to embrace the vulnerability in knowing not everyone will be able to imagine it.
Gratitude in Loneliness > Grief
Despite the grief, gratitude is always present. I’m grateful for the ability to find her in a foreign stranger’s history or in the soft woodwinds of traditional Peruvian music. As bittersweet as it is, I look forward to the déjà vu when cracking open fresh crab, my mother’s favorite.
Nothing, not food nor music, are necessary to remind me of my mother. My mother once accurately stated, “Everyone is everything,” during one of our many insightful conversations. She is everything to me. She’s even in the dozens of butterflies and hummingbirds that always seem to find me. Whether I’m at home relaxing by the living room window or perusing a man’s treasure trove of glass bottles, my mother is everywhere now.