Archive | August 2013

flying solo

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My adventure is revealing itself more and more as a lesson in being alone.
Yes obviously I came over here alone, so why am I surprised, but you always think people will find you or you will find people sooner or later. . .

Obviously the language gap is isolating to start with, even surrounded by people I often can’t really keep up with the Italian conversation. There is a delay in my translating in my brain so quite often when I have worked out what one stream of words mean and bring my focus back to the conversation happening around me, it’s moved on and I either continue with this translation game in my head or zone out and sit in my own little world. So okay, that explains that. I think.

But the solo challenge seems to be what my experience is calling for these days. Last night was a challenge in itself, I attempted to hike up the volcano on this island. Something I have spent 2 weeks getting my mind ready for, unfortunately I neglected to get my body physically ready and stupidly imagined I would magically hop-didoo to the top !!!

Ummm. No.
I tried really hard, but started to really lag behind just past half way up and had to be abandoned by my group. Left sitting alone on the side of a volcano with a combination of sweat and tears rolling down my cheeks and sliding down my neck. It took me about 15 minutes to come to terms with my failure, forgive myself and see what this sudden ‘change of plan’ meant for my experience.

Turns out I wouldn’t have it any other way, how often in my life have I allowed myself such isolation. I wouldn’t ever ask for it. I thrive on people and company around me, especially for motivation. But here on this tiny island there isn’t anyone who means anything to me, so why should I hike up to the top with strangers who don’t give enough of a damn to slow the pace down a bit for me!?!
They did me a favour leaving me by myself with the simple instruction ” get down before the sun sets”
Okay I said, miserable and deflated. But soon after they left and I sat watching the sun setting to my right and an erupting volcano to the left and thought, quite honestly, “f@?# that”I sat in silence listening to the rumbling tummy of Stromboli and every 25minutes or so a puff of smoke and explosion of rocks tumbled down to hit the sea in a glorious splash and sizzle.

When the sun has set is when the magic happens, the puffs of black cloud disappear and replacing them are bright red fireworks of hot volcanic rocks and lava. It’s completely surreal.

Once I got my fix, had my romantic sunset picnic for one, I switched on my headlamp and started the 2 hour trek back home, in gorgeous silence and quite eery darkness. And I thought to myself, I resisted this. I resisted and resisted and continued up that bloody volcano until my legs just couldn’t anymore, and that’s the way it was meant to be.

I was meant to have this unique one-on-one experience with this volcano, this incredible creation of Mother Nature.

I so desperately saw it as failure at first,
But now I see how when things don’t go as planned its often just so that the Universe can give you something better, that you would never have had the guts to plan yourself, … That’s where the magic lies…

I am becoming more and more comfortable with doing and experiencing life by myself…. I’m keeping myself very good company indeed.

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