I was stuck in the check-in queue for over an hour at the airport so I had no choice but to look around at everyone else waiting. Mostly families, then couples and a few single people squeezed in between them all. I watched on as most of the men were doing the heavy lifting. There was some really tall, strong, long haired men… ahhh there’s a flight to Auckland.
Maori men. Think Jason Mamoa but the New Zealand version without as much personal training. Still strong.
I was on my way to Indonesia, Bali, for a week of relaxation and adventure. These men were balancing bags, kids, and societies expectations of strong men, doing a wonderful job. I happened to be behind an Indian family: two males, two adult females and a young girl. The men did nothing but hold up the queue. However I ignored them and focused on the strapping young- middle aged men looking after their families. My heart ached a bit for that. I felt a whisper of desire. If I have an aura, it turned green and spread out enveloping them as if I could turn that into my own life.
I stood alone. Balancing my bags and dragging them along with my singledom as we took miniature steps around the walkway like a cattle call. A bad back and type 1 diabetes, I would have loved someone to help me. I imagined my invisible partner placing his hand on my lower back..
“You going okay?” he’d check on me.
“Here babe, I’ll take that bag. You take this lighter one,” he’d say.
It took over an hour but I’d be sprinkled with little reassuring kisses and a few stops for a hug as we tried to be patient and shuffled along together. It would be fine, it was an adventure together. We’d give each other funny glances, reading each other’s minds as we watched other people. Oh we were so in love!
Then I noticed a young family. A couple and their daughter. The man stood in front of them with his ear phones in and ignored his daughter pulling on the back of his trousers for attention. He had two bags but the mother had a bag, a pram and was looking after the young girl. Hmmmm this was more realistic. I remembered the fights I’ve had with previous partners. The stress of getting two people packed, out the door and at the airport on time. I only had to worry about one person. I suddenly felt lighter and that seeking aura of jealousy snapped back, quite quickly, and returned to me standing alone.
I’m powerful on my own. I can do things in my own time, based on my own decisions and there’s no one to argue with or make me feel bad.
So maybe those families and couples were looking at me with jealousy.
“I wonder where she’s off to on her own and what delightfully free adventures she’s going to get up to?” they’d ponder.
“Look at her smaller bag” they’d glance at each other.
“Oh to not have anyone whinging at me or pulling on me”, they’d dream.
Every time I said to someone that I was going to Bali their response was “Who are you travelling with?”
The driver that picked me up said that it’s unusual to travel alone in Bali for the first visit.
I’m alone, but I’m free. I am financially independent, I am strong willed and I’m curious. I know there are thousands of women that can’t travel alone. They don’t have the money. They are too sick. They are scared. I’m doing this for you. Because I can. Yeah okay, it’s for me. I’m relatively fit and able, so I must. However I think that in doing this for myself, it says to everyone, everywhere that it’s okay to be alone. Or to try something new.
As a Dad was handed his families six passports to look after, I walked down the aerobridge swinging my arms free. Because I can!