I used to beat myself up for being somewhere and seeing loved ones in my surroundings. It felt like being plagued – shouldn’t I just go somewhere completely new and not bring my own personal baggage with me?! Isn’t that the whole point of traveling alone?!
“She would love that coffee shop.”
“He would totally want to spend hours at this park.”
“She would want me to take a thousand pictures of her at this mural.”
“He would find that birthday card hilarious.”
“We would sit here and talk for hours.”
There’s this ideal of going to a new place and having new thoughts/experiences. Living life creates layers though and connotations that you sometimes can’t escape. I have come to accept that I’m doomed to see the world in a way that melds together my experiences and the experiences/stories of those I love. By channeling and giving into this side of myself, I find that I’m constantly viewing life through the eyes of those I love and what they love. Things that I used to not appreciate are now aspects of cities that I’m drawn to simply because I have seen the appreciation in another’s eyes. I’ve also realized that the fact that this happens is really just a testament to knowing someone deeply. You have to know someone pretty well to know what would make them happy. I now find it fun to bounce back and forth between my perspective and those that I love! I embrace those moments when I’m traveling. I take pictures and send them to friends with captions of “you would just love this – I wish you were here.”. When I’m lucky, I get to enjoy these new places alongside those people I see wherever I go.