12:58 AM

I’m still here.

Just in case you’re one of the three people who has checked this space in the past year and found nothing new, I would like you to know that I am still part of the living.  Also, I apologize for not writing anything for this space for the past how many hundred days.

To the curious, I went AWOL for the better part of two years because I underwent one of the most profound yet quite typical of human experiences which was getting my heart broken.  And how excruciating it is to admit, I could hardly put fingertips on keyboard to do numerous post-mortems of the relationship, more so to write stories from the heart.

Grieving I certainly was, though I only admitted it after the 257th time I’ve said to myself that it was all for the best. After that, I booked myself a holiday to a dream destination which happened to be as disconnected to the outside world as one could be these days. Me, myself, and I were going to be on the road again and I could hardly wait! After all, Dame Judy Dench as Elizabeth I once said, heartbreak calls for a journey. And I was determined to make this one an epic.

But the majestic karsts, young backpackers, nor the crippling internet connection failed to keep my mind off of him.  On the contrary, I wanted to share every single thing with him. I wanted to comment how the distinct topography have basically sealed this nation’s fate or how happy/ sad that the elders still speak French or how resilient the people are for having survived a war that was never really theirs. I wanted him there to talk to, to share a meal with, to drag me out of bed because it’s time to give alms to the monks.

Not that I didn’t enjoy myself because I certainly did. I cycled around town, scarfed down most of the food I laid my eyes on, and ogled pretty much at every colonial structure. Yet the happiness that was brought on by every bite and every site wasn't enough. There was still something missing. This trip was missing him. 

Though being on the road - alone - made me feel like I'm myself again. For several days I was that girl again, the one who doesn't need anything but her backpack, her passport, and her own two feet. I was that girl again who sees friends in strangers and is at home in the unfamiliar.

As this year unfolds, I hope to go farther and stay longer on the road than I’ve ever been. Alone or with a companion, I don’t know.  Let’s see what life has in store for me.

A patch of wildflowers to uplift the mood.  image from pexels.com

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