Traveling alone terrifies me now. Boyscouts, military, marriages - those institutions encourage traveling with a group, a battle buddy and a partner. Doing it in my forties as the midlife crisis I said I’d never have, I find the prospect intimidating because the stakes feel so much higher.

Or maybe it’s the thousands of dollars I am hauling around. Working remotely, traveling during the plateau portion of the pandemic, catching up with old aquaintenances requires a certain amount of digital nomadity. I am basically a mobile radioshack at this point. I have every kind of cable needed to roam and stay connected.

Still, I have it down to a science. I have crammed three weeks of life into two backpacks and my Shamisen case. I even have a first aid kit. I have the backing capital that should disaster happen, I will be fine. I have travel insurance for fuck’s sake.

So why am I so terrified? I have been to Cambodia, Peru, Ecuador, Belize, New Zealand and Australia. I have been so many places, done so much backpacking, recovered from disaster, carried people down mountains, gave CPR, gave an IV. I got this because I have been training my entire life.

It’s because I am alone. It’s up to me to get from point A to point B without losing a bag, without putting myself in a dicey situation, without missing a connector flight or a bus.

I sit on the bus with my baggage being the only thing that feels comfortable. I am literally carrying the weight of my world on my shoulders.