Sunday, July 13, 2008

well, hello again

i'm back. currently at my cottage in northern ontario, canada. my 2.5 month trip across the world has come to an end. since may, i've been to: hong kong; macau, china; australia's east coast (notable highlights include sydney, surfer's paradise, brisbane, noosa, whitsundays, and cairns); northern thailand; laos; vietnam; cambodia; and the thai islands. and now i'm at a loss for words. because my trip wasn't really about the places i visited - yes, they were all magnificant in their own right - but the things i learned about myself along the way. boy, did i learn a lot about yours truly. i'm in a very interesting place right now. i need more time on my own, to allow all of these tidbits of information to settle in. that's why i decided to leave the city immidiately after landing - i need time to reflect, absorb, move on.

one of my most vivid memories from my trip comes from early may, a few days after having arrived in australia. just outside of sydney there's a mountain range called the "blue mountains". i decided to make the 2 hour journey on the train to the mountains on my own. once there, i hiked the trails for about 6 hours - just me and my map. after having climbed to the bottom of one of the ridges, i remember sitting down on a bench and sobbing for about an hour. not about anything in particular - just that i was there, on my own, doing something completely for myself. it was a very powerful moment for me. it was as if i was flexing my independence for the first time since my (somewhat) recent breakup.

ah, my breakup. my breakup followed me everywhere. i thought about him everyday. countless times i wished that he was there with me. hell, i think i wrote him about 10 emails over the course of my time away. didn't send them, but i wrote them. i wanted to tell him everything i was doing, share my experiences with him, ask him for advice, .... but i knew i couldn't. reaching out to him at that time would have been the wrong thing to do - it would have unecessarily hurt both of us. our relationship is done, it's run its course. i knew i couldn't rely on him for support anymore. travelling taught me two somewhat contradictory things about my relationship with him: (1) that i still loved him and (2) that it would never work between us.

and yes, i did travel with mr. new zealand for about 2.5 weeks. it was great - we got along fabulously. but he hurt me - and as much as i want to make excuses for him, i know i can't. he cheated on his girlfriend with me and i feel miserable about it. i'm embarassed that i compromised my morals for someone who didn't reciprocate my feelings. yet, from mr. new zealand i learned that i need to be on my own. i remember looking at him once while he was asleep and thinking to myself, "this is wrong, i don't want this, not yet".