I have been traveling around this country alone countless times and was actually enjoying it. However, my latest sojourn to Donsol, Sorsogon this weekend awakened me to a painful but inevitable truth. It required no thought provoking epiphany, no huge disaster such as a tsunami, and not even a frightening brush with my mortality . I just woke up in a bus this weekend, alone, and with no one to talk to. And I realized, I am way past my schizoid soul-searching phase. It's about time for me to raise the white flag and admit that I too, am human and that I am a social being, who, just like everybody else, is need of somebody. This led me to my one pathetic but irrevocable proclamation: I don't want to travel alone anymore!
To hell with my restlessness, to hell with my profound desire to "know thyself". What I need is good reliable company, some one to talk to and argue with, somebody to blame when we both get lost or end up in a decrepit hotel, somebody to scold me whenever my gullible self gets fooled by the local travel outfit's promotional offers or whenever I give the local boatman more than enough money (like I often do). I need someone who will let me pay his half of the tricycle fare but who will pay for my lunch just because I also insist on paying for his.
I don't need any more adventure. I've already had enough in my young life. This time, I want to be bored, really bored! I want to be made stuporous by lackluster stories I've heard over and over again. I want to be disgusted by somebody's snoring or how that somebody just doesn't change his clothes everyday! I don't need excitement. I want to enjoy something familiar this time! I want somebody who will stop me from having the locals' best delicacy and instead get me to eat the local street food, someone who will eat the liver and fat parts in my pancit canton that I place on the side of my plate, or who would prefer canned tuna over that famous breakfast plate made my that Swiss restaurant next door.
I don't want any more "me" time. I'm having so much of that already. I want someone to drink beer with, someone who will actually search for me when I go out in the middle of the night to drink alone, someone who will actually worry about me when I drink too much and somebody who will actually get mad when I don't heed his worries!
I don't want to be that strong-independent-woman-who-does-as she-pleases anymore! I don't need that company who will let me go where I want to go and let me do as I please. I don't want him who lets me explore the other side of the beach while he discovers the other side. I don't need that company who encounters me walking a street of a small town and so he walks the other way so I could have my space. I need someone to walk with me even when I insist on doing my walks alone. I need company who knows that no one can stop me from walking under the rain whenever I want to, so he will walk with me instead.
I need someone to travel with. But first, he must know that he is dealing with one extraordinary woman who has already done so much more traveling than most women her age (plus some other stuff that this silly shallow world commonly regards as "success"). He must also understand that I am a clumsy, stubborn, hardheaded, moody, impulsive, gullible, schizoid, temperamental traveler who sucks at making plans and sucks more at heeding and remembering directions. But he will travel with me anyway. Maybe because he has had enough of solo traveling himself. Or maybe because traveling with me makes solitude an overrated silly entity travelers look forward to.