It’s hard to distinguish between solitude and loneliness when you spend hundreds of hours by yourself on the road or in the woods and the sunrises and sunsets start messily blending together.
Hiking on weekdays in less-popular parks means you just don’t cross paths with many other humans.
You might stumble across a dorky father son duo when you hit the summit of a mini mountain in the Adirondacks or end up following behind a gaggle of girls playing hooky from work in Sawtooth National Forest, but for the most part, it’s just trail, trees, air, sky… and the occasional chipmunk that scares the shit out of you.
Truthfully, the more time I spend in the wilderness with limited cell service and no one to talk to, the more likely I am to dwell on and reconsider past relationships. Because it’s lonely out here.
Sure, at first, it’s invigorating; empowering, even.
Every experience is fresh and new and exciting. But eventually, the feeling shifts to one of pure isolation. You miss being able to share specific moments — no matter how mundane — with another human.
Over the last few weeks, it has become clear to me that having the right partner-in-crime for these travel adventures would inevitably improve my circumstances. Each moment’s magic would be exponentially heightened if it could only be shared…
But, I’ve also learned that you shouldn’t ‘hitch your wagon’ to just anybody.
The wrong travel buddy is worse than none at all. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.