Saturday, June 26, 2010

On Travelling Alone

I have been blessed enough to have moments where I feel strong and sure of myself here in this unfamiliar situation. Like when I realized that I knew how to get basically anywhere I wanted in Bergamo. Or when I pick Margherita up from school, and she runs for me to pick her up, her chubby arms spread as far as they go and a huge smile on her face. Usually these moments of temporary security happen when I am with the wonderful family I am living with. Monica (the mom in the family) and I have really good talks about everything, and this helps curb the gnawing vacancy of friendship here.

Along with this there are times where I want nothing more than to be home around familiar things. Yesterday, after two months of pushing down the feeling of loneliness it finally hit the fan. I felt it keenly from the start of the day when I again woke up in a room by myself and walked to an empty kitchen. I did my crunches that have become a habit and went to go eat breakfast. I showered, came back to my room, and spend time talking with God and reading the Bible. I think I assumed that because I did that it would automatically turn it into a good day. After that, I chilled in my room, got on facebook, went out for a bit, and watched School of Rock for the first time. I laughed at a funny part, but promptly was reminded that I was alone when only my laugh cut the air. I tried to ignore it and refocused my attention on the hilarity of the movie (I cannot believe it has taken me this long to see it).

For the past two months if a twinge of loneliness hit me I pushed it away like a child pushes away bitter medicine. Apparently the barrel for the million pieces of lonely I pushed away was filled to the top because all of the sudden I felt it all heavily.

I didn't want to do anything, because I would have to do it alone. So I sat Indian style on my bed. I found myself the closest to tears I have been in a long time. As they blurred my vision I tried to stop thinking about it and got up to reorganize my dresser for the millionth time. I was frustrated. Frustrated at myself for being sad, frustrated at the situation, frustrated at loneliness, and frustrated I could not get rid of the ache that had recently taken up residence in my ribcage.

Later that night I skyped with my family, and was able to watch movie with them via computer. It was perfect because one of the things I miss most is being able to just sit and watch movies with people, or just hang out. I was also cheered up by a friend that made me smile and laugh until I forgot I was lonely. God's good to me.

You may have a couple reactions reading this. You may think I'm out of my mind for being in Italy yet feeling sad. That's ok. I just recommend that you travel alone sometime and get back to me on that. Or you may swing to the other side of the spectrum and feel bad. You don't have to do that either because I am learning so much here and will be home soon. My heart seems to keep making desperate reaches toward home but I am keeping it here to the best of my ability. That being said I am also looking forward to being back, yet know that I will miss my time here just as keenly as I now miss home. See you all soon.

Peace in Christ


  1. I identify a bit with the loneliness of being away from everything you love for so long. God is our strength at all times, no?

  2. absolutely. that's why i know this trip is so good for me, because it makes me depend on His presence alone, not the presence of my friends.

  3. Thank you for making me feel less crazy. I've wanted to travel for quite some time but the idea of missing my loved ones (combined with a distinct lack of funds) has kept me pretty close to home. I've been told by many others my age that a part of "growing up" is leaving your family. They make it seem like having no emotional ties to their parents is what defines their adulthood. It's just nice to hear that there are others our age (which I consider more or less adults) who still feel a desire to be close to their families. Thanks for that. :) Peace & joy. <3