One can be lonely anywhere. It’s not about the place so much as it is a longing within. Sometimes its a longing for touch. Sometimes it’s a longing for words. Sometimes its a longing for a simple hug. One can get these feelings anywhere. One can even get these feelings when they are with someone. But there is something…different…special..urgent..about the loneliness that is experienced as solo person living in another country, 1 month in, no new friends, no family, no knowledge of the language.
I am lonely here sometimes in Chile. I have school work, I have master’s work, I have Crossfit, my personal running challenge, this writing challenge, lessons to plan, books to read, research articles to review and reflect on, and colleagues who invite me sometimes to bbqs and gatherings. And I am lonely, sometimes.
I long for the touch of someone that I know, it’s been a very long time, years in fact. It’s a feeling that passes but when it comes it’s strong, intense and overwhelming.
I long for conversation with someone that I know, where I don’t have to watch my words and I am free to be as sarcastic or crass or open as I choose, no questions, no judgements. I can spend entire weekends not speaking to another human and be quite okay with that and some days I just want to talk and talk and talk.
I long for a hug, a genuine hug from someone who gets that I hate to be touched most days but when I want to be touched I want warm arms around me with no words. I really do get uncomfortable when other people touch me, family included, and then there are days when I just need a hug.
Blogs and pictures and books about living and traveling abroad show it all in a positive light. The adventure, the exploration, the thrill of being somewhere new, seeing something new, experiencing something new. It is a wonderful magical experience. But there are moments, there are times when you miss and crave and need the familiar. There is a longing that comes that you know can’t be fulfilled. And you know that you have to sit in it, let it be, because you can’t get on a plane, the time difference prevents you from calling, and well, you made the choice to live in this new, magical country. And so when the longing comes, you sit in it and accept it as part of the package.
Today I am longing.
Tomorrow I will wake up, go for a run, go to work, read a research article, watch the waves roll in from my bedroom balcony, go to Crossfit, and perhaps feel a whole lot less lonely.
Today I am longing.
Today I am lonely.