I studied English Literature and Spanish at uni which involved me doing a “Residence Abroad” in a Spanish-speaking country. Considering that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity funded by Student Finance England, I chose to go to South America and not Spain, even though every particle in my body was terrified. I mean, I was so scared of new places/people that I had only applied to London universities, and here I was, ready to fly across the world.
I really felt the sting of loneliness during that year abroad. I went to work in a school in Peru Monday-Thursday, leaving me Friday-Sunday and the academic holidays to travel around the country and its neighbouring lands. I saw the stunning, the amazing, the breath-taking and I remember thinking the whole time, this is so meaningless alone! There was no one who meant something to me with me, no one to share the appreciation with, no one to make it not just impressive, but also happy.
The picture above is from a lonely walk I took through the crowded streets of La Paz in 2007. It was like a step back in time mixed with the current. There was something to see whatever direction you faced, including a dude dressed in a zebra costume helping people cross the road…and I had no one to share the hilarious shock with!
I used to get a sense of excitement looking at my travelling photos; now I mainly feel sadness and anger as I don’t know when I’ll be able to travel again. I need to do something about this.