I love travel. I love finding myself in a new city and struggling to learn its heartbeat. I love plopping down next to a complete stranger and walking away with a new number in my phone. Starting over in a different environment is easy for me, a challenge I thrive on.
That being said, there’s also a feeling that is sweet and precious and very, very rare for a nomad. The Opposite of Loneliness is this experience… a single moment of protection. We can be busy, we can be happy, but to know the opposite of loneliness is the ability to simply be. To laugh with someone who we don’t have to get to know, because they’ve already been through that fire. To cry with someone who we don’t have to impress, because they can see right through you. To speak with no introduction because the story has already begun, this is merely the next chapter.
I’ve been living in Denver for almost five months. I’ve met many people, gone on many adventures. I love living in this city, love sharing life with my roommates and their two-year-old.
Last weekend, though, I was given that precious gift.
I stepped on a plane and flew to a city of the old and the new. A city I’d been to as a child, but not as an adult. A city where someone I’ve known for a decade and someone I’ve traveled with intensely since the latter half of college came together at a house in the desert.
It was easy. It was safe. In that moment, I experienced the opposite of loneliness.
We all knew half stories. What’s happening in your life? How did that situation pan out? Wait, I hadn’t heard that part, tell me more. But none of it was from the beginning. It was the comfortable continuation of a conversation. It was home, thousands of miles away from what my driver’s license claims is mine.
It was comments and questions, shuffling shoes and comparing tattoos. It was holding on to a secret, simply because we knew the others would love the reveal. There was beauty and magic and peace.
I’m a nomad by nature. I plead my friends to come live with me, knowing that even this home is temporary, and if they were to come we wouldn’t be together long.