To: Solo Travel.
From: One of your biggest admirers.
My dear old friend, it’s been far too long since we’ve gotten together.
You know, distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I felt fondness the minute I landed in Miami and realized we’d be meeting again. I squealed at how noncommittal you seem, yet you’re the one I want to commit to.
You’re that stress free kind of friend; you never make me feel guilty for staying in, snuggled up in white sheets, or for binging on 90’s sitcoms in an air conditioned room, because you recognize I’m tired, and you somehow know what’s best for me before I even do.
How could it be that I waited so long to get in contact with you again? The good thing is we pick up right where we leave off every time; nothing but zen times together. Plus, can we take a moment of appreciation for all the collective friends we make, and interesting stories we share? Like that time we were sitting in a taco bungalow three blocks from South Beach, Miami, eating our disgustingly overpriced tacos, while sippin’ on a brewskie, when suddenly the table next to us asked if I was Tatyana Ali, aka Ashley from Fresh Prince of Bel’Air. They proceeded to compliment me, until ultimately inviting us in for a threesome; like what?
You wouldn’t have judged me if I said yes, which makes me love you even more, but we both know better, so we denied the potential for an absurd story, and realized our company would be far more satisfying. We laughed it off, and once again sunk into the fact the most bizarre and interesting things happen when we’re united.
What about that absurd nap we took in the middle of the day? The kind of nap that makes you take a deep sigh of relief that relaxation is imminent.
You give me the space to take a profound exhale and sink into the feeling that I’m allowed to just be.
Do not disturb switched on, and the mind finally switched off. We wake up to collaborate on blogs, and video ideas together. We stream our favorite shows, dance in undies, and lip sync to Spice Girls. And when we finally feel like it’s time to get ready to face the world, there’s excitement in the unknown we’ll uncover together – cause there’s always something around the corner waiting for us.
Free drinks, is that you? We scored the happy hour, which literally meant free drinks (yes, slightly and live Cuban music, sitting underneath massive swaying palm trees. And because you’re such a comforting friend of mine, the judgement of others doesn’t affect me in the least. The most important lesson I’ve taken from you, is the ability to not give a damn, because I want to be sharing an evening with my good friend, solo travel. So what if drinking and bobbing to the music with my invisible friend makes me look like an overjoyed crazy person?
I’m happy, so nothing else matters.
We leave when we feel like it, because there’s no pressure to stick around. The warm, delicious Miami breeze leads us to wander the night streets, completely wide-eyed and unafraid. A few blocks down, there’s a gut feeling to turn a random right, and a random left, until we stumble home at the perfect time to still enjoy an evening for old friends. Snuggles in comfort, muscles fully relaxed, and we rest.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever woken up excited on just an average day, but I want you to know that’s how you make me feel. And no, I’m not a morning person, nor do I wake up at 8AM to sing show tunes and brush my teeth dancing like Carleton. I’m the kind of sleep monster that wakes up in a crabby ass mood, but somehow, around you, I turn into a morning queen. No alarm set, and I’m up ready for the day at 8:15AM. There’s no need to escape, or to numb myself in deep sleep when I feel so alive around you. I just want more of every moment.
With the perfect beach day ahead of us, we skipped outdoors, making friends with the hotel staff and enemies with the thick wet dew in the air that made my hair extra, uhm, tropical (aka a massive afro puff). When was the last time I felt I could sit and read a book after taking a dip in warm ocean water? Oh right, probably never. Headphones weren’t even necessary, all my senses were being stimulated by just sitting on the powder sand and feeling the droplets roll off my body as I turned pages of a book on creativity, and writing, two things you always constantly remind me I need to dedicate more time to.
We take another dip in the ocean, completely disconnected, but so connected to all things that seemed to matter in the moment. We just connect to the moment; undivided attention is given to being free and alive. Who’s worried about my crap getting stolen on the beach? Ok, me, slightly. But still, swimming in the ocean by your side makes the risk highly worth it.
It’s time for lunch, and we grab Pollo alla Plancha with a side of arroz moro and platanos: Cuban goodness that somehow puts Cuban food from Cuba to shame. Savoring food is on another level when we’re sharing a meal, almost as like all the tastes and textures celebrate their flavors in my mouth.
What it really comes down to is the lack of distraction, which makes me appreciate every moment a little more in the raw. No one’s opinions cloud my thoughts, no one’s hunger levels ruin my plans, no one stops me from doing exactly what I want to do, when I want to do it.
And that, my friend, is why you’ll forever be one of my favorite people to hang with.
Let’s not wait this long until we meet again, you’re truly a keeper.