Alone

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I’m alone.

Holy shit, I’m all alone.

I mean, it shouldn’t come as a surprise—I did fly to Buenos Aires alone, so it would be worrisome if I wasn’t waking up alone in the hotel room. I know I’m French but I’m really not that kind of chick.

The guys must have landed by now. I checked my email—yes, Feng replied to my own “landed!” email I sent last night, they made it to Ottawa. Phew.

Shit. I’m alone.

I think I need some coffee.

I get dressed, wash my face, brush my teeth, brush my hair and as usual, I take the stairs because I don’t have the patience to wait for the elevator (especially in Argentina, where elevators are usually lovely to look at if you like antique stuff but terribly slow and inefficient if you actually need to go up or down.

I’m alone. No one is going to call me “mommy” or “Zhu Zhu.”

I don’t even know what language I should be thinking in—French? English? I tend to think in the most spoken language around me, i.e. French in France, English in Canada and Mandarin when my in-laws are around, but there’s no way I can form coherent thoughts in Spanish.

Alright brain, I’ll let you decide.

Oh, okay. English, apparently.

Am I going to turn into one of these people who talk to themselves? I’m not a “talk to myself” person, I’m a “write stories in my head and type them later” girl.

Am I going to start singing “my loneliness, is killing me, I must confess, I still believe”? Or maybe The Police’s So Lonely?

I take a sip from my coffee.

Oh, stop being so fucking dramatic, Juliette. I’m not lonely, I’m just a solo traveller for a little while. And it’s not coming as a shock either because that was the plan: the three of us would travel together for a month, and then I would stay in South America a bit longer alone.

I wasn’t particularly looking for a solo traveller experience. I didn’t need time alone. If given the choice, I’d rather be with Feng and Mark. However, Feng didn’t want to travel for too long for various practical and personal reasons and I didn’t want to spend most of the winter in Canada. So we found a compromise and here I am, alone in Buenos Aires.

I have a return ticket, I’m coming home, eventually.

I told Mark I was staying here for a little while, and he seemed fine with it. He wanted to go home, and I was fine with that too.

I’m lucky. I can work when I’m abroad, most of my clients don’t care where I am in the world as long as documents are translated, edited or written. I speak Spanish well enough to survive in South America. I don’t stand out too much. I think I’m okay with travelling alone.

You may think I’m crazy, irresponsible, heartless, selfish. That’s fine. But if there’s one thing I learned in the past few years, it’s that compromises go a long way.

I don’t want to “force” Feng and Mark to travel to places I enjoy.

I don’t want to be “forced” to hibernate in Canada in winter.

So here I am, alone, but I think I’m fine—and I think Feng and Mark are okay too.

Selfies in the hotel room in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Selfies in the hotel room in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Selfies in the hotel room in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

16 Comments

  1. it’s not crazy nor selfish. we sometime need a little break, right. enjoy your me-time. I really appreciate an (Indonesian) husband who gives permission to his wive to have her me-time. it’s not that common in my culture.
    PS : I’m thinking of escaping to eastern Indonesia ( barely raining in those area) so I dont have to face this rainy,gloomy weather in Jakarta :))

    • Do escape if you get the chance! Your husband sounds like a nice man.

      I don’t see it so much as “me time” as “I really want to travel longer”. I would have been happier if Mark and Feng would have travelled with me, but I completely understand why Feng didn’t. I wasn’t desperate to be alone… just desperate to travel!

  2. Katherine Hopkins on

    Would you feel safe to travel there if it was just you with your child? Look forward to following your solo travel posts!

    • No, I don’t think I would travel alone with Mark. But it’s not because it’s South America, I probably wouldn’t feel super comfortable travelling alone with Mark anywhere. Staying somewhere abroad, sure. But backpacking… you need two adults, I think.

  3. Je trouve pas ça fou non plus. Courageux oui! Je ne suis pas sure que j’aimerais voyager seule (parce que partager avec qqun fait partie intégrante de mon plaisir de voyager), mais je comprends tout à fait vos compromis et les raisons qui t’ont fait faire ce choix. Everybody will be fine! Enjoy!

    • I’d rather travel with Feng as well (not sure I’d like to travel with anyone else, to be honest… well, Mark, of course) but travelling alone is also interesting.

      I think.

      I hope 😆

  4. You’re not selfish, you are lucky to be able to do that ! Travelling and working at the same time – I would love to be able to do so. But my kids wouldn’t let me go 😉

    • I think Mark is used to see me coming and going a lot at home, so he seemed okay with the deal. It’s always hard to tell with kids… I hope he’s okay!

  5. Waking up alone and warm is better than wakinig up to this:
    |
    Regina, SK
    EXTREME COLD WARNING
    Current Conditions
    -32°C
    Pressure:
    103.4 kPa
    Wind Chill:
    -44
    Visibility:
    24 k
    Observed at:
    Regina Int’l Airport
    Date:
    5:00 AM CST Thursday 24 January 2019

    You can get a volleyball and paint a face on it and name it Wilson. It worked for Tom Hanks when he was alone. He talked to it although I can’t remember if it talked back.

    • Oh, God.

      Ahem… stay warm. It’s cold in Ottawa too, apparently, but it’s not a surprise in January.

      I’m not sure if I’m up for an imaginary friend… Maybe not one named Wilson. Must brainstorm imaginary friend names.

  6. Not crazy, nor selfish!
    And travelling alone is great!
    To me it is the best way because that’s how I get to meet more people,
    go to places I wouldn’t have with someone else.
    And the only thing that matters is check out time!
    I miss travelling alone…
    Enjoy!

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