Alone, and Ok With It?

Occasionally there are weeks where nothing seems to have happened. That is the nature of travel, and the way in which it differs from simply a vacation to a foreign place. Travel means living your daily life in a new land. All the exciting, boring, frustrating, and joy inducing things that come with that place suddenly become your own. There are waterfalls to shower in, mountains to climb, and awe inspiring hikes to lose yourself in. However, there are also café’s to sit in idly, work to do, and locals to talk to. While some of these things may seem more exciting than others, I must say that there is a quality to the simple act of not doing anything that is alluring. Sitting in a café and talking to strangers has proved to be far more entertaining than I thought it would be (and yes, the accents here make it way better).

While I am currently jobless, I have spent countless hours frequenting the coffee shops in the area and getting to know some of the locals and other backpackers alike. The week has passed by quickly despite having no actual “work” to do. I’m still searching and applying for jobs (almost exclusively on the South Island now), but my stress levels are at a minimum. I consistently check the job boards, but have spent enough hours over the last week to have looked at every job at least a thousand times. I have also reached out to my friends and family that know people in the area, so I have quite a few lines tossed out into the ocean of jobs.

This week has been educational for me outside of the job search. While pretty much everyone I know is busy during the day, it has given me more time than usual to be alone. Those of you who know me quite well know that, as an extrovert, I thrive off of human interaction. While I can of course make friends with strangers (which I have done), it is a bit odd to be consistently alone. There is a difference between being alone in a crowd, and being alone on your own, a difference that I have gotten to know quite well throughout this week.

Don’t misunderstand, as this is not a complaint. On the contrary, it is actually quite enlightening to get to know myself on a different level. The fortunate/unfortunate thing about traveling with someone is that you are ALWAYS with that person. While this may be beneficial if you enjoy the company of that person, it also removes any chance of having any time to yourself. I am appreciating this aloneness as a chance to get to know myself in a foreign place. How to I spend my time when there is neither anybody nor anything that requires that time? It’s a strange experience for me. I have never traveled solo before, and am finding that the experience is not quite as bad as I thought it was going to be. Of course there are moments of loneliness during the day, but I have found that being alone isn’t quite as bad as I imagined it would be (extroverts, I know you understand).

While I still would prefer to have a job and a steady income in this place, I am trying to learn to appreciate this season of life. Despite the fact that it isn’t the ideal situation for me, I am determined to use it well. Did I not say earlier that I will find the good in each situation? Particularly the bad ones? This is an excellent opportunity for me to put that into play, and I’m being to find that silver lining in the storm clouds.

Yes, this is a shorter post than usual, but there are times when ones thoughts must stay inside their head. While writing is an amazing outlet and I enjoy filling everyone in on the goings on in my life, there must be times when memories and lessons are reserved for oneself.


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