I have been in Auckland for 10 days.
I have stayed 4 different places, gone to 5 interviews at staffing agencies, and have done 2 days of work.
I’m so antisocial many of you wouldn’t recognize me. When I do speak, it’s someone else who is in no way connected with my soul. It’s just words. I’d rather not speak. The only exception to this is when Alex and I talk; a combination of love and the common turbulent ground we find ourselves on makes this possible.
Being that I feel a large disconnect from myself – as if the former me has left and the new me has not yet arrived, leaving me in limbo – there’s no way to connect with others. I’ve grown sick to death of hostels, and speaking to the people they contain brings on a sense of dread. “Where are you from? What part of Canada? How long have you been travelling? Where have you been?” Everyone’s answers resemble each others, and everyone asks. It reminds me of something I read recently:
“adronitis: n. frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone—spending the first few weeks chatting in their psychological entryway, with each subsequent conversation like entering a different anteroom, each a little closer to the centre of the house—wishing instead that you could start there and work your way out, exchanging your deepest secrets first, before easing into casualness, until you’ve built up enough mystery over the years to ask them where they’re from, and what they do for a living.”
But even if I could skip ahead, I find the sound of my own voice to be endlessly dull; my stories are all someone else’s story. They are from a different girl, frozen in time, but who will never thaw. I continue to search for the girl I will be, but recounting the tales of my past does not help to achieve that. Nor does it really hinder it, I suppose, but it’s like I’m reading a book to someone. I’d rather they just go find their own book and read it alone.
People back home, when we speak (which is seldom, and with few people), like to ask how my travels are going. It’s polite, you see. But it’s like if I asked you how having a stable home and going to the same job everyday is. My life is equally uninteresting, and, just like yours, it has moments of amazingness. But it’s not some continual ride. My life consists in a constant search for a roof over my head and some income. Perhaps the idea of travel is less alluring to you when put like that.
“Life consists of rare, isolated moments of the greatest significance and of innumerably many intervals during which at best the silhouette of those moments hover about us.”
Travel, as defined by most, is a trip – whether a fully planned holiday or a wild backpacking journey. It has an end, and it has finances to back it.
Travel in my world is not either of those. Travel is the constant search. Travel is the nomadic life. It is doing everything that you all do, but in ever changing environments. It is the knowledge that I am never trapped in any situation. It is knowing that I may go to every corner I dream of, but it’s not going to be easy. While you wait for the money to go those places, I accept the hardships of getting there. For, to me, any hardships I must endure on the road are far superior to having a stable life with a home and a job I’ve been at for a year. That’s the most terrifying situation I can think of.
Why, then, do I have just as much difficulty connecting with others who have been on the road for a year or longer?
We are different from one another in our very essences. My life seems to depend on continual uncertainty and change. Perhaps this is why I find it so difficult to speak to those I love most. For all of our commonalities, it is our very being that separates us. Can we ever possibly begin to understand each other?
I hope the future brings a resounding YES to this question, but at present I’m not so sure we can get past the superficial. And by this I don’t mean fake small talk – obviously I’m close friends with those I love because we’re far past that. But I no longer understand you, nor do you me. So where do we go from here?
I am nomad. Hear me roar. And that is all I am certain of.