Always leaving (the loneliness discussion)

“Hi there! I’m Graham, that strange Canadian you’ve been chatting with online. It’s great to finally meet you.”

Meet a new friend. Get to know each other.

Eat together. Laugh together. Share together.

Develop a handshake. Give a hug. Conquer a mountain together.

Hike. Drink. Talk of relationships gone by.

“I knew this amazing girl a few years ago, but…”

Reminisce together of the one that got away. Smile as you both realize it’s your fault. Every single time.

A week passes.

You wake up. A budding connection, still in its perfect infancy, is beginning to form.

But time is up.

Promise to visit again soon. Invite them to your home one day, even though you know they’ll never appear.

Leave for a new town. Or country.

I’m always walking out the door, on my way to the next place. Traveling is amazing and chock full of new friends, but I’m also perpetually lonely, sincerely missing relationships that last longer than the week at hand.

I miss deep relationships. Real relationships.

The kind where you can spend a full day together without feeling the need to plan every moment.

The kind where you can order a couple of pints and abstain from allowing the setting sun to call an end to the evening.

The kind where you know something about a friend that other people don’t know. Inherent trust.

Every single nomad I’ve met attests to the same feeling. Were I forced to choose between a million acquaintances and a few good friends, I would choose the strong few. Without question.

Watching people wave goodbye to their loved ones as the bus or airplane begins its journey makes me long for those whom I love in my own life.

Then again, there are lessons to be learned in every situation, in every state of mind. Henry Rollins, an American musician, said it best.

Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better. — Henry Rollins

I’ve felt that burn. And I’ve tasted that night air. And I’m a better man for it.