I do not like being alone.
Whenever I tell new acquaintances I’m going to Australia to travel, the first words out of their mouths are usually, “I’m jealous!” The second? “Wow! Who are you going with?” When I answer, “Myself?” their excited expressions change, morphing into an odd mix of sympathy and shock.
Loneliness is a funny thing — especially in New York. You’re constantly surrounded by people, so doing something alone seems even more out of the ordinary. I imagine people looking at me thinking, ‘In a city of almost 9 million people, you couldn’t find one person to go to the movies with?’ Most of the people lounging alone on street corners are either homeless or getting paid to hawk a flyer. All those people sipping coffee at cafes on street corners? They have a computer hooked up to AIM or a blackberry to keep them constantly connected. In a city whose residents usually walk at a 15-mile-an-hour pace, it’s hard to go it alone without an agenda.
This, I hope, is not the case in Australia.
I suspect I’ll be OK – after all, the tour I’m going with is almost constantly sold out (they recommend booking your seat well in advance). Still, I can’t help but wonder if a little alone time wouldn’t be such a bad thing. That might turn out to be the biggest adventure of all.