If I had the tendencies of a hermit, it might be easier. But I truly like people, companionship, fellowship. It's just that...most folks don't seem to be going my way. I set my sights on that farther star and track to it, and while I might be hoping that there will be a crowd going along, like pilgrims to Canterbury, it simply isn't the case, mostly.
It's great with established groups, folks like Civil War reenactors (of both Civil Wars), reenactors in general, the groups that meet at various friends houses. I drop into the Inn Between Worlds, and see what travellers have popped in for the night or the weekend. I meet other travelers on similar routes, and we compare notes on what we did when last the caravans passed, hoist a glass, sing some songs, then the gypsy wagons decamp, and we go on. It's nice, because these are My People, and many of us know the loneness and the sacrifices of the Quest.
But relationships...ah, there's a sticky bit. A bad relationship can still be great company, especially when you're adventuring. My old college boyfriend was a case in point. I was miserable with the "relationship" part, the day-to-day life, but if we were exploring remote back roads, camping in the wilderness, practicing martial arts, climbing trees, visiting museums and historic sites, it was fantastic. Was the trade-off worth it? Probably not. And when he finally realized I had friends who weren't his friends, interests that weren't his interests, and was capable of having a good time without him, he basically made me choose. I made my choice and left, and never regretted it. I've sacrificed relationships for the Adventure many times since, because...in the end, the Adventure is what makes me feel complete, not some person.
And yet...it's a trade-off that has a bitter undertaste. I've learned to savor it, though, like preferring a shot of gin and tonic to a sticky sweet drink. I sit at my table by myself, watching the outer world, and nursing the tonic water of life. Eventually sweetness would cloy, and make me feel ill. I stick to friends, and less stickiness. But friends move in their own circles, too.
And now, it's off into the breach again. Soon, I have a vacation I wanted to do, and now it looks like I'll have to do it alone. But hey, I can work on my Spanish CDs on the trip to Las Vegas, with lots of time for practice. Hmm, I wonder if I still have the skill set to cadge drinks, like I've done in Irish bars and historic saloons? But I'm no longer the nubile lassie, so I don't expect anything. I suppose I'll hit Nine Fine Irishmen over the Voodoo Lounge, in that case. But I'd been hoping to share the Adventure, the fun of being there, with a friend, and not having that option is disappointing. Oh, I'll enjoy myself, but not as much, and that's too bad. But at this point, it's part of who I am...(dammit all, she mutters).