Europe

When I remember a trip I took alone, I don’t remember doing it alone

That happens to me. It is a huge lie.

If I want to travel a lot, it is not easy not to travel alone. It’s easy when you’re little more than 18, and when friends can travel, because they study and don’t work, because they work but don’t have the backpack of responsibilities that we carry with us over the years. Almost all of us started traveling in a group, we need that push, that security of carrying a nest on our backs, so as not to feel alone on a branch that stands out in a forest, within a forest that upholsters some mountain that we do not know.

But once you get started, traveling alone costs less. And the curious thing is that when I remember the trips that I have taken and that I did alone, I don’t remember them being alone, quite the opposite. The trip to the south, that first “long” trip, I always remember with people. At every moment, in every city, on every journey. I remember it through conversations, even, still walking that mountain, through that path, I remember the moment when that lanky tourist was walking with a group of friends with an orange juice in his hand. I remember that unimportant detail. But I don’t remember walking alone.

I remember on a trip talking unexpectedly with whom I found out was a neighbor who lived around the corner from home in Mar del Plata, but who would never have crossed it in my city, or who would always have crossed it in my own neighborhood avoiding its passage on a sidewalk

When I am asked if I am traveling alone, I need to think about it. And I even hesitate to answer it. Coordinating a trip with someone is complicated, but I’m not sure about traveling alone. That time in that town on that mountain I had conversations for hours, or a couple of days. As long as I sometimes can’t have that way where I live. And meanwhile, he knew and breathed a pure air, under a diaphanous sky. And yet, even though he didn’t feel it, he was alone.

I do not remember well if I travel alone. Although there are times when you can feel alone, in the end not the memories. Maybe my memory erases them, that’s how I have it configured. And instead I remember conversations, people, simple situations, moments in which there is always someone who crosses the path, and who feed that lie. Travel is not done alone, even if you are alone at the starting point, and in the end, the path meets people with whom you have precisely that path in common, and more things that are easy to discover.

Instead, it is those paths in the cement labyrinths near your house that are often walked alone; even if you share a sidewalk with another person who comes from the front and that you see every day without ever exchanging a word, until eternity; even if you travel in a bus with fifty-eight people with whom you share the air, but each one of them is alone, inside individual bubbles that never explode. I think I remember more moments alone in a city (of ghosts), and I remember seeing more faces alone in that city. There are not so many ghosts on trips.

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