A hippie hostel full of striped hammocks. Pitch black sky contrasted with brightly colored railings and spray-painted walls, lighters sparking on pipes and guitars strumming in happy hands. It’s all good, man. A chessboard set up next to a long wooden table where the guy named after a bird and I talked for hours about everything under the sun. Jordan called and I told him I’d call him back because I needed to finish a conversation about paying for sex. Later, I swung in a rainbow striped hammock as I had the same discussion with him. We’ve both been so busy lately that I feel a little disconnected. Afterwards, clinking cups together while the hostel guys, one with dreadlocks, the other in a blue and red striped sweater, sing in Spanish — two others accompany them on guitars. Rain pattering against a tin and wooden roof and Robin and I say goodnight as we tuck ourselves in to our little twin beds and turn off the light.
never have i seen the moon so big and beautiful. it was like you could reach out and touch it – so real and close that i half expected to see ET riding across the sky on his bike. i felt like i could see the universe when i stared at it, and into the blackness surrounding its illumination.
i’ve drunk nearly an entire bottle of sweet shitty wine while lying in a hammock in an oasis today. i have a compulsion to finish the food on my plate, and the drinks that i buy – something i should work on not doing when i don’t want to. there are huge leafy palms beside me and a clear blue pool ahead, water rippling with the gentle breeze that passes us by. it’s a lazy kind of trek, the kind that you could finish in a day if you were really motivated. but it’s nice to stop and breathe and take it all in every once in a while. the two day trekkers have just arrived and have merely an hour to enjoy this beautiful place before the sun, already hidden behind the mountains surrounding us, finally goes down. it was nice having the place to ourselves for awhile.
baby, this is what you came for.
we’re a small group of six. a student, a theatre director, a park ranger, a baker, a woodworker, and a sailor. it’s been nice speaking English again – i was studying for days in Arequipa and mostly keeping to myself, made easier by the fact that nearly everyone i met was either Dutch or German. my nose is extraordinarily dry and i’ve been coughing a lot because of the dust. i’m trying not to wish my time away.
fermented grapes are a wonderful thing. i’ve tried fermented corn, or chincha (“Incan beer”) here in Peru and it’s not the same. more two day trekkers arriving and i have a desire to be isolated from everyone. there’s something to be said for drinking alone and then writing about it – it’s not necessarily lonely; sometimes it can be introspective. a possibility that’s somewhat ruined by two guys cannonballing into a cold pool right next to me. another swig.
i’m pretty sure my boyfriend doesn’t even know i have a blog. i love him and miss him but i’d give up this year of being with him, physically, to have the rest of my life with him. and to have this period to explore the world, possibly more than i ever have before. or at least differently, by being immersed in other countries for months at a time. you can’t spend your good years wishing your life away. stability will come, flexibility may never again so easily.
one swig left. i’ve got a strange urge to watch Pirates of the Caribbean – Jack with his rum is like me with wine (on a lesser scale, of course). another cannonball. do they know there’s such a thing as a swan dive? why am i being this way? judgmental and antisocial and territorial. i’m just tired and deeply immersed in my own thoughts, and the presence of strangers, cool travelers though they might be, is unwanted at the moment.
does everyone feel like their love is meant to last? like you’ve found the one, the love of your life? i’m twenty one and trying to keep it in perspective, but i really feel like i have. is that stupid? ridiculous? unrealistic? i don’t know. i’d never been in love before this. and it’s painful to imagine loving someone else.
i took a selfie today, something i rarely if ever do, and it occurred to me that maybe i’m some kind of beautiful – something that my best friend and boyfriend always say but that i never really believe. self-perception is a strange thing. it’s like i saw myself today despite my flaws, instead of because of them.
1, 2, 3 drink. last swig.
i’d like to swing from a chandelier sometime. it’s a wonder i didn’t become an alcoholic last summer. lots of self-control i suppose, and knowing that falling into that hole would only mean eventually having to dig myself back out. i haven’t written much in the last year and i don’t know why. it just hasn’t come to me as naturally, and i don’t force myself to write.
i’ve lost so many rings in the course of traveling – just today my turquoise one lost its stone amidst the dust and gravel along the trail. i think i do my best writing when i’m drunk or sad, and i wonder if most creative people feel the same way about their work. i’ve smelled cigarette smoke and really want one, although i’ve mostly quit smoking even socially. a whiff of garlic bread that is probably merely more rice and vegetables passes by and i would honestly drink more shitty wine if i had any.
can you feel where the wind is? can you feel it through all of the windows inside this room?
but you’ll never be alone. i’ll be with you from dusk till dawn.
god, i will feel silly if it turns out he is not the love of my life. sometimes i love him so much that it hurts to breathe; i’m completely overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. is that how it’s supposed to be? can i even ask that, or is every love different and no one really knows who’s the one and who isn’t?
and yet, this is my trip. my period of independence. go give love to your body. i’m excited to go to Colombia in a week; the heat will be devastating but the greenery refreshing. i haven’t wanted to sleep with anyone else yet, am not sure that i will at all during this year. maybe in Australia. but my focus isn’t finding other people to fill a physical or emotional void; it’s filling whatever holes i feel by myself. learning how to be okay on my own again, as much as possible.
it’s nice to be rocked again.
there ain’t nothing common ‘bout us.
hours later, sober. i always wished i could dance or sing, to make people feel something through my own art or self-expression. maybe words are my art. maybe i should start to paint pictures with them again.
things i’m thankful for here in Peru:
- an abundance of cheap, healthy food
- inexpensive wine
- being able to hike
- meeting new people from all over the world
- facetime calls and movie dates with my friends (& how the distance forces us to get creative with quality time)
- practicing my spanish
- the kind hostel staff i’ve met in Cusco and Arequipa (Ivan & Jose)
- gaining a sense of independence back that i feel got a little lost in the last year
- learning to appreciate the present moment, instead of trying to skip ahead through this incredible year filled with uncertainty and change
- having the courage to start making videos of my travels and creating those visual memories to look back on
things i’m thankful for back home:
- hot showers
- being able to avoid single-use plastics
- real towels
- a big bed & my own space
things that fill my soul:
- multi-day treks without service
- buying gifts for people i love
- deep conversations with near-strangers who i feel like i know so well after only a few days