places and people

The last couple of weeks I’ve been heartsick for travel.

Have you ever stayed in a hostel? The beds usually squeak, the sheets usually have a hole somewhere in them, you most definitely want to wear flipflops in the shower, and locking your suitcase up isn’t a bad idea.

They’re my favorite place to stay.

I met a couple girls over spring break in Bratislava, Slovakia. Two months later, we grabbed lunch in Nijmegan, The Netherlands. Then there were my friends in Venice, Italy – a one day trip turned into three because of them and we wandered around the city speaking auf Deutsch and letting one of the German girls interact with the shopkeepers in English so I wasn’t the obnoxious American stereotype. And who could forget Frankfurt? Two weeks later I was on a flight to Croatia to hang out with my Spanish-speaking locals, and a year and a half later I was on my way to New Zealand.

All because of hostels.

Lounging by the bar.

Making dinner at the same time.

Charging our electronics on the same power strip.

God, I love travel.

The happiest moments of my life was the five weeks I spent wandering aimlessly around Europe, waking up and the first question I asked myself every morning was, “What country am I in?”

I miss nodding off on the train, shaking myself awake so I don’t miss my stop. (Although sleeping on the overnight route when I haven’t spent the extra $60 for a bunk is not something that bothers me as much).

I miss wandering through grocery stores, trying to figure out what a culture cherishes.

I miss sitting on a hilltop, watching the sunset over a new city. I miss laying in the sand looking at unfamiliar stars.

As strange as it seems to say: on a related note, I’m single again. For the third time in two years, I’ve ended a relationship.

I’m coming to a realization of who I am and what I want.

And part of that involves being single.

I love dating. It’s lots of fun exploring new places with new people. I enjoy being in a relationship purely from having a regular partner-in-crime to go on adventures with, and I like the comfort of being in love.

But that’s who I am: an adventurer. Everytime I’ve gotten semi-serious with someone, my heart breaks a little bit because it makes me feel trapped. Trapped in this country (what if I want to do a working holiday?!), trapped in this state (what if I want to get residency somewhere so I can do an on-campus chemistry program?!), trapped in my time (but there’s twenty other people I want to hang out with!?).

I haven’t been single for longer than 2 weeks since I graduated university and started stepping into adulthood.

I don’t know who I am without my name being attached to someone else.

That’s not to say I don’t know how to act single – hell, the Chaser and I averaged seeing each other once a month for about half of our relationship. I knew how to have my independent life. But I always had a ready-made excuse of defining why I could be platonic friends with anyone.

“I have a boyfriend.”

But “girlfriend” is not a part of my identity that I enjoy.

It’s time to break free.

It’s time to be myself, and find out exactly who that is.

So let’s be friends, and only friends.

I get to start 2016 by myself.

So here’s to that, and here’s to 25.





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