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Friends or just acquaintances?

Many people envy us, our journey and our freedom. But that also has its price. Friends, for example, are always and recently increasingly a topic in our evening discussions, but they also have a strong influence on our feelings when we are out and about. So I get homesick every now and then…

It’s normal to feel homesick from time to time while traveling. That shouldn’t shock a long-term traveler. Homesickness for your own home, with perhaps more space, for your pets, for the garden, for the hobbies that you can pursue at home but are difficult to do on the go, for the supermarket where you don’t have to search for every little thing again and again and after family and friends. When you travel you miss good friends.

So I’m having a real friend low right now.

When we left for a year at the beginning of 2017, everything was still so new. I didn’t think too much about it and I was “busy.” I didn’t notice the “loss” that much. And I was younger. Sounds funny, but that’s an important aspect, because over the years these thoughts become much more nuanced and really good friends become even more important.

And now… at first there was just a strange feeling, an uneasy feeling, I felt left out. Of course you don’t want to be excluded, you want to belong, but that’s just not possible when you’re on the move. Then you write messages to remind yourself. Ask how others are doing and be genuinely interested. Over time you have to realize that these messages are often only initiated one-sidedly. At some point you make a little side comment about it, which is often not categorized correctly and logically cannot be done because the supposed life situations are so different. Then you stop communicating and become sad. Sometimes that was it. Now it might be easy to say, “well then it wasn’t worth it,” but it’s not that simple.

Of course there are different groups of friends.

The handful that is always there, the absolute “Inner Circle”. Always appearing in thoughts, in feelings, in almost telepathic moments. It doesn’t matter if you don’t hear each other for a few weeks. You feel loved, heard, accepted – at any time, unconditionally. There is never any discussion about the topic of friendship or misunderstandings. They immediately notice what’s going on…

Then there are the ones you’ve known for a long time, where you think everything is perfect and everything is fine – you basically don’t have to worry. That’s it, at the beginning, and then they lose interest because you’re not there. You have nothing to offer when you’re away. If you feel that you are “just” an alternative and that you can be replaced by other “nice options” because you are not there, then that hurts particularly badly. We are certainly not easy. Not with our demands, not with our model of life. So “more socially pliable” people apparently make “better friends”? There are plenty of others too. So why care? It will happen again when you get back… Is that so? Really? In any case, I’m left with a stale taste – a feeling of interchangeability. And that puts a strain on the friendship. It is precisely various representatives of this group that disappoint me the most, because I believed that it would not be shaken so quickly.

Then there are new friends or those who could possibly become friends. This is a very exciting group, because they are “under observation” compared to the one mentioned before, because you don’t want to repeat history – because that just hurts. Here you realize… crazy, if they’re trying so hard, there must be more substance behind it. So I also try and it’s nice to write something every few days, even when I’m 9,000 km away, to exchange ideas, to involve others and to be involved, and maybe even to make a phone call once a month. Wow, that’s a difference – more contact than my supposedly good previous friends? I feel accepted here. At least now. We will see …

Why now? Why not three years ago? I think it takes an incredibly long time to get the real long-term travel feeling. For us, perhaps even longer because the individual travel situation also plays a role. Are you always on the go or just a few months? Are you only at home for a few days or longer and get involved again. How long are the travel phases? Especially now for longer… you can feel these subtleties. We’ve been on the road for seven months now, so we took another break from traveling before, but now it’ll take another few months. That’s a big difference.

Of course we all have different life models and interests. No one is more aware of this than us, with our somewhat “special” model of life we are often outsiders in some way, but shouldn’t good friendships last and last? Shouldn’t that just lead to mutual interest and intensification?

Sometimes misunderstandings arise due to the often written communication or existing discord gets worse due to the distance, then there is a great risk that the friendship will completely collapse. I’m tired of this model too. This feels particularly bad. And it also hurts a lot. You are essentially “left hanging” without discussion, without honesty. You don’t know where you stand, you don’t know what you did wrong.

We have left the social abundance at home. Friends, acquaintances, parties, celebrations, meetings, invitations, visits… – and are now left behind in the social void. What is it really worth pursuing for me? Of course, I also want to take individual situations into account. Who can do something with our lives? Who has the time and interest to think about this? Who has the ambition to really want to be important to friends…???…

Somehow, we all want to be loved. This gets the happy hormones flowing and all is right with the world. I know from my yoga education that this should be put aside if possible and that the desire to be loved harbors weakness because it always buys into conformity. This in turn contradicts the true self, the true being. The love that you really need and is sustainable is self-love. If that’s clear, then what’s happening to me right now isn’t happening. I definitely still have something to learn.

And ultimately, I’m grateful because what I’m experiencing right now is a kind of further development, of seeing, of being differentiated. I feel a big step at the same time!

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