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Alone

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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