I had been away from Gili T for 3 weeks. Was returning a mistake? Would it be the same? Why return at all when there are so many new places to explore? Returning to a favorite place comes with high expectations & we all know how easily it is to be disappointed by high expectations. So, when I tentatively stepped into the bar/reception area of Windy Bunglows, hoping for a familiar face I was surprised by the greeting “Welcome home, Suzanne”. I guess I was.
Long term solo travel can make you homesick. Not necessarily for HOME but for the feeling of familiarity that home provides. Doubling back to a place can seem like a waste of time, I mean why would you want to return to place when the world is large & time is finite? But being on the road, seeing new things everyday, figuring out a new town, finding the perfect beach, or a great café takes some doing, and doing it over & over again can make a person weary. Familiar faces and places are a welcome respite for the long term solo traveler. Which is why I am back on Gili T. I needed to feel at home.
I am comfortable traveling alone. I like the freedom it provides. Meeting people & developing friendships, no matter how temporary, makes traveling a richer experience. Friendships form quickly among travelers. We know the clock is ticking. Conversations tend to lean more toward the existential & philosophical vs the superficial & banal. Allowing for a deeper, if more fleeting, connection.
But, saying goodbye sucks. For every traveler the road beckons, or people on a short holiday must return to the “real world”. We know the day will come when some of us must go and some of us will stay and while it makes us sad, we are grateful for the time spent getting to know one another.
This post is dedicated to the amazing people I have come to know so far, you have enriched my travel experience and my life.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a big shout out to my Indonesian peeps at Windy. You all are the reason I stayed so long on Gili. You made me part of your home & I am eternally grateful. Juna, Jul, Rama, Ilham, Isak, ding, isniani, sophie, “gorgeous”, you are my family & I love you all.