People have this terribly infuriating habit of assuming that people who travel lead lives of uninterrupted happiness. We ditched the suit; we quit the job. We have tans during the off season and get more than our fair share of family attention at the holidays. We cast off the shackles of convention, and thusly seem to have been stripped of our right to suffer the occasional shitty day.
Today is a shitty day.
Today is the day that I leave you and go home. I thought it’d be just for the holidays. I thought I’d be back in a month. But Hurricane Sandy just took off a big chunk of my mom’s house. It would appear my little cousins are in need of some guidance. And there’s this general feeling in the pit of my stomach like I’ve royally fucked something up. It’s the same feeling I had before I left my nine to five and started traveling. It’s the feeling before I met you.
So now I’m leaving, and we’re going to try this long distance. That’ll be the crappy prologue to longer chapters of sorting out visas and tepidly skating this relationship across new ice to test and see whether or not it’ll crack.
I’m scared it’ll crack. I’m scared I’ll forget to take one more look at you before you get out of bed, and that years from now when I look back and ask what could have been, I won’t even remember how you looked in this moment.
I’ve spent a long time now traveling around. Life’s been a series of questions about what kind of gear’s required to go canyoning, or when can I see the northern lights. When you regularly ask yourself those kinds of questions, you don’t complain when you have a shitty day. But today I’m throwing in the towel. I have held my tongue even through some pretty crazy travel woes, but I can’t take any more.
I don’t want to leave. I love it here. I love you here. I love us here. But time’s up, and everybody saw this coming, including me. You can’t date someone from a different continent and expect the landing to be smooth.
Combining travel and relationships is pretty much like love itself – unequivocally wonderful, until it’s not. Then you’re either left with too many puzzle pieces or too few, and either way it’s not a pretty picture. There’s no guarantee it’ll work out, no promise love with conquer all. I believe we can get through this. But I don’t know we will.
If I didn’t want to face all of this, I shouldn’t have traveled and dated. I shouldn’t have fallen in love with you. But that compulsion, that need, that rabid desire to travel – that’s how falling in love with you felt.
So I’m playing my get out of complaining free card. I travel for a living. I’m the luckiest girl in the world. Tomorrow I will scoop myself an extra big helping of gratitude to make up for my attitude today.
But today is a really shitty day.