Recently my brother died.
Actually, in three weeks, it will have been a year since he died.
Since he died, since the day that I found out he was dead, I’ve been fixated on “going away.” In the past twelve months I have had high highs and low lows. I’ve traveled a lot and visited friends in far away places that I had never been to. I’ve camped in British Columbia and drank champagne next to Al Pacino, I learned how to skateboard, and I tried surfing for the first time. I’ve done a lot in the last 365 days, but through it all I have had this yearning to go.
Where to? Wherever.
I’ve made a plan to move to LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Europe, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico.
So why haven’t I left Boston yet? I’m in love. I’m so deeply in love with my best friend and partner of over 8 years, Will Oliver Thomas. Don’t misunderstand me - I’m not blaming him. But we have a life together and I can’t just decide to pack up my car (our car - really his car, he bought it, even if my name is on the title too) and go west with my books, clothes, and camping gear. He has drums! and a good job! We have to make our next move work for both of us.
But, what about traveling - what if I took a solo trip? Would it satisfy my craving for adventure, for being gone?
And so we’ve come to our title topic: On being in love and traveling alone. Can you do it - be in love, but decide to travel alone? There’s a feeling of guilt that comes with that idea. “You stay here and hold down the fort - I’m going to go on a spiritual journey.” Why can’t you go together? The drums! The job!
Do you extend the offer to go together? It changes the whole point of the trip. Suddenly it’s not about being alone with yourself, dealing with your thoughts, trying to finally fucking write something - it’s about the two of you exploring and adventuring together! A bonding trip, a memory maker.
I’m sure, as with most of life’s questions (especially coming from a 25 year old), there is no right answer. It’s about fear, after all. I’m not going to know if a solo adventure will make me feel any better about my brother dying or if it will affect my relationship with Will, unless I do it. Unless I go. And that’s scary.
In three weeks it will have been a year since my brother took his life.
In three weeks it will have been a year of me obsessing about needing to go away.
Maybe I should. I should just go.