Tag Archives: relationships

Enduring Friendship

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”

Jim Morrison

For the first time in seven years I went abroad with another woman (aside from spending 6 hours in the Bahamas with my mom in 2013)! When I realized how much time had passed since the last “girls trip” I felt very surprised – how could I have let that happen? I feel strongly about women and girls doing things that challenge them even if it’s not “gender appropriate” and being intentional about creating and reaching personal goals and dreams well into adulthood. Yet, I’d never been able to work out having another join me on a trip and I know I’ve dreamed about exploring a new  area of the world with one of my friends.


Celebrating hiking the Rio Jucar gorge

This autumn, a friend I’ve had since age 14 (more than half a lifetime ago) joined the journey to Spain.  I’ve visited twice before and it remains a place that feels so comfortable and perfect to share with someone. It is only natural then that even with the new dynamic of two individuals, we would have a fantastic week of exploring mountains with a series of hikes, trying some amazing food and taking part in lots of laughter in Madrid, Cuenca, Valencia and many places in between. If you can’t imagine enjoying a vacation could be difficult, you don’t know what it’s like being with someone all hours of the day, even whist sleeping. It can be a challenge at times..especially if the person is me! When with the right person, ups and downs are less extreme, which was something I had forgotten. Recovery from major stresses happens more quickly and shady environments are less alarming. Mistakes are less draining emotionally and two heads tend to be better than one, especially if there is a language barrier.


Hiking in the Sierra de Guadarrama

I’ve written about the relief of feeling anonymous or allowing your true self to come out when free of the (sometimes self-imposed) labels and habits associated with impositions of day-to-day rat race life. I’d only experienced that kind of freedom as a solo traveler. However, while in Spain, I was able to have that freedom and it was invaluable and a true sign of a healthy friendship (or maybe just two healthy people?). Was it worth a seven year wait? Maybe. I do know that it was one of the best experiences of the year and I’d definitely recommend you go and ask an old friend to go on an adventure with you right now – even if it’s close to home.


Mending Myself

One aspect of travel I know I have not yet addressed in this blog, is how for certain people, taking a break from routine and exploring your boundaries can mend a damaged spirit. With proper introspection. Now I can finally speak to this and it’s not coming out so natural because I have not been especially personal in this blog, but I will try.

For about half a year I’d been seeing someone I thought would be around for a long time and they also happened to be the first person I’d felt seriously about in several years; he was someone I’d been waiting for. However, this summer I was faced with an unwelcomed ending of that relationship.

Then began internal conflict. Feeling lonely and rejected at a certain times, I worried I would not be mentally or emotionally prepared to be completely alone and abroad with the stress of the unfamiliar, or possibly worse, not in the mood to actually enjoy the experience. I thought I needed to be with known people whom I can count on to make me feel valued yet I felt smothered in my home. The site of formerly warm memories that I could no longer stand. If I was already feeling down could it hurt to just try a 10 day holiday?

Probably unbelievable to some, I greatly dislike being vulnerable but at the same time very predictably, I enjoy pushing my limits. It’s odd. I want to be thrilled and experience things and maybe have complicated things happen but not when I’m already feeling poorly about myself. I process things internally.

Behind me is emptiness.

Knowing myself (introverted, curious, wanting newness), I went on with the trip which turned out to mentally be the easiest I’ve taken, although obviously due to cumulative experience. It doesn’t mean I never made mistakes, got bored, or worried. I just reacted to those things in a more constructive way.

Now at home, I’m so overwhelmingly relieved that quite varied  people everywhere I went valued me as a stranger to talk with or friend for the day. It’s easy being outgoing and engaged when there is alcohol or a structured activity but on you own without those things just it can be hard to connect. You have to guess what will make a person want to talk with you; why am I any different than all the other people they’ve met today. These people don’t necessarily know I am not around anyone with who I have an existing bond.

It was especially nice to come across women who were out like me, doing their own thing. I think they ended up being the most comforting people to meet and those I needed to explain myself the least to, if at all. They shared things about where they’d been and what they enjoyed and what motivates them. I was flattered that some of these women wanted me in their company.

Anyways, in a small way I’m more confident that as a person I’m worth knowing and I can make people happy even when I feel ugly. Also, my lense has been bit corrected; the world is so many endless things, people and places and I need to focus more on the positive whole, what is waiting for me and enjoy changes and not focus on the small things in the past I’m powerless to control. I am back to being content with how things are and being the version of myself that I believe is “real.” It could not have come sooner!

Thank you for reading,


“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

-Antione de Saint-Exupery