As I run into various expats, especially those from the Western side of the world, there is an independent nature that many seem to possess. It makes a lot of sense that someone who would be traveling this globe to explore and maybe even "find themselves" would carry this strong streak of independence. We could call these expats/travelers/tourists the Lone Rangers of travel.
There is another type of expat that I have also met. The ones who travel with partners.This type seems to be just as common especially as I run into the tourist travelers.They have their buddy or partner with them. Together they are sorting through the experiences of exploring new territory. We could call these the Buddy Systems of travel.
As I reflect on the Lone Ranger and the Buddy System, I remember some travels I took in the States in 2016 while John was overseas. He was gone for a 2 1/2 month stint of time. It had been a looooong time since I had lived life as a "single" traveler and it was an experience!
In times past (before married life), I reveled at the Lone Ranger type of mentality. Independent, self-sufficient, make it on my own, etc. type of ideas. As I faced singleness again for a few months, I noticed something had changed. Along the continuum of life, I had moved from the Lone Ranger mentality to the Buddy System mentality. It's funny how you don't recognize how the strength of another fills your gaps of weakness until they are not there. In those moments your weaknesses are staring at you in your face.
So...As I trekked out in my travels in March 2016 without my buddy, John, I had to improvise. I found that I wanted a travel buddy. I wanted buddies along the way. Being alone was okay, but having the companionship and supply that others bring was much better.
Okay...Are you ready for a chuckle? My first implemented plan to have a travel buddy happened while I was on the road. Who was that to be?? Well, Cinnamon the bear (the picture) came into my life during my first travel destination. It came as a gift at a ladies' conference. A nice cuddly teddy bear that took me back to the comforts of my childhood. So, Cinnamon became that stand-in buddy as I drove to various destinations in the 2 1/2 months of John's absence.
Now, Cinnamon the bear wasn't actually enough because I needed the supply of other people in my life as well. So I found that my connections with old friends as well as making new friends was so valuable for me. I also found that my inner thoughts and meditations with My Father grew even sweeter to me in this time.
By the time that John returned from his journeys, I had found a deeper appreciation for his strengths, wisdom, and simple company. I remember something that had been impressed in my heart during my years of fierce independence. It was such a novel and astounding thought to me in those younger years of life:
"You can be too independent. You need to be interdependent."
I truly thought you could never be independent enough and I scoffed at the idea of "needing" someone to help me.
Now fast forwarding back to current times, I have come to realize there is such a beauty, strength, and high value in interdependence. You begin to see that life is not all about YOU. It is about US. It is about OTHERS. There is a flow of giving and receiving in life. It is a flow that you learn as you experience it. I hope you learn to enjoy that flow as I have.
Click on Read More to see some photos of my Buddies in my 2016 travels. Precious people who enriched my life during that time and even to now.
Cindy writes about her adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. She and John live in SE Asia. She will also share nuggets from her 58 plus years of life.