I lost track of what round I’m on. The faces and locations change, but the process is the same: Toss everything either into either my backpack or a trashcan; wait off to the side as the immigration officials pore over my documents; and finally sit at 40,000 feet and wondering how many more times I’ll do this until I find the one or at least the place. I had thought I found each of those in Chile and Brasil, but life isn’t a fairy tale and sometimes reality ruins our story’s happy ending.
I’m not sure if this ability to grow distant in a hurry is a blessing or a curse. It makes traveling much easier but also makes lasting relationships harder to build. You can’t make a close, life-long friend every month. You can tell yourself that, but ask yourself if you’d be at the weddings and graduations of the life-long friends you make every month. It’s hard to say but it’s true: The friends I have met in Brasil will replace me in their lives, and I’ll replace them in mine. I’ll never forget them but I will find new people to spend time with and depend on, just as they will.
I’ll land in Bogota in a few hours. I’ll be doing a CELTA Teach English as a Foreign Language course there so I can travel without blowing through savings. Working at hostels and volunteering in exchange for accommodation will soon be just memories after I’m done.
Maybe I’ll find stability and lasting relationships in Colombia. Maybe I don’t want to.