I have to be honest here. Two posts back I wrote about my amazing adventurous years of traveling and how I’m so glad I’ve done it and blah blah blah. And that is true. But, what I didn’t mention, is that solo travel kind of sucks. It’s good in a way – I think it’s toughened me up and softened me and thickened my skin and rounded my edges and all of those things. It’s made me fiercely dependent on God because what else can you do when you end up in a foreign country all alone? And I’ve had some great times and met great people, but let me tell you something: my trip to Europe with my friend Allison and my trip to Israel with my sister Sarah were hands down my favorite travel experiences of my life. They were infinitely more enjoyable, and maybe even more meaningful. Why? Because it’s always about the people. And when I gazed on the Eiffel Tower for the first time as she lit up in the Parisian twilight, I had one of my best friends in the world next to me. When I danced on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, my sister was right there, celebrating our heritage with me.
The crappy part about traveling alone is that, really, you only get half the experience. It’s like light ice cream. Yeah, it’s still cold and sweet and pretty good, but it’s not the same as a scoop of creamy gelato on a freshly made waffle cone. Something about the texture is not quite right. And you don’t remember light ice cream. But I can still remember the Tiramisu gelato I ate in Florence three years ago. When you travel alone, you come back and all of the glorious things you’ve seen, all of the people you’ve met, the sensations you’ve experienced…they sit hidden in your heart and burning a hole in it. Everyone wants to see pictures when you get home, but after five shots they’re bored and want you to just jump back into the same stream of life everyone’s swimming in. You must pack away your memories on a little shelf and be content to take them out again sometimes when you’re alone, admiring them a little before putting them back in their dusty corners. But when you shared that experience with someone you love, with someone you still share life with, then the two of you can go into that little memory room every few months or years, and take out your favorites and hold them up to the light, exclaiming over their beauty just like you did when they were new.
So yes, I’m thankful for all my opportunities to travel, but I don’t want to travel alone anymore. If you’re looking for a travel buddy, I’m your girl. And if you are a single, handsome, intelligent, funny, God-loving man who is looking for a travel buddy, let me know. Maybe we can work something out.