1 day ago
Meanwhile, in the woodlands of Washington state.... Visiting Olympic National Park was a treat. It's a vast wilderness that is both tropical and mountainous. Its location at the northwestern-most point of the contiguous US puts it at an automatic advantage against overcrowding and tourism. I didn't have much trouble finding a spot for just myself.
On that note, one of the things I noticed most about my solo 18-day roadtrip was how lonely it was. Two and a half weeks is a long time to spend entirely alone and there's something to cherish about experiencing new places with someone else. I would oftentimes gaze out my window, completely in awe, and end up quite sad, just wishing someone was with me to see it. Fortunately, in most of my life I don't experience much loneliness. However, this trip gave me a much greater empathy for those that do. Loneliness takes many different forms and consumes those you wouldn't expect. It can be born of our circumstance, judgment from others, or personal choice, all of which happen easily. But true human connection isn't just stumbled upon. It's worked and wrought over time and through a labor of love and intentionality. Most people don't approach it that way. And that's alright. If we don't want transactional relationships, we have to stop being transactional. It starts (and ends) with us.