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".