I’m currently exploring the south-west of Western Australia. I enjoy staying in Youth Hostels because they provide everything I need, are inexpensive, but comfortable. They allow me to be alone when I want to be alone, or engage with interesting travelers when I feel like company.
I got talking to a lady who’s currently travelling around Australia on her own. She’s a grandmother, a little further down life’s track than me, but very much full of life and energy. We talked about about our travels, some life experiences, our families, and inevitably the subject of losing Rosie came up. She in turn indicated that she was divorced after a long relationship.
So far so good… another interesting conversation to add to the many I’ve had in hostels before. It was getting late so I headed off to bed.
I was about to enter my room when I heard her call out to me. She’d just seen an advertisement on the noticeboard for a Twilight Cruise around Albany’s beautiful waterways. In an excited voice she told me she could extend her stay an extra night to include the cruise and asked if I’d like to come with her? $30 for a 2 hour cruise, some free drinks and food, an opportunity to enjoy a fun event with a fellow traveler.
A big ‘No!’ immediately resounded in my spirit.
But how was I going to handle it??
Not wanting to offend her I hesitated. I considered saying yes to avoid an awkward situation but knew I would regret betraying my very clear internal guide.
After a moment I said, “Thanks for the offer but I think I’ll say ‘no’.”
An awkward pause… what do I say next? How could I frame what my spirit was saying? Beyond the clear “No!” my rational thoughts were all over the place.
The best I could manage was, “At this stage I really need to have space.”
She responded with a questioning look, “I just thought it could be a fun thing to do. It has nothing to do with you and me.”
I thanked her for her offer and beat a hasty retreat into my room, relieved to have the door closed behind me.
As I lay there in the dark my brain was racing. To be fair she may well have had had nothing more in mind than sharing a fun event with a fellow traveler before moving on. Nonetheless I felt a sense of shock. I was shaking on the inside; it was an encounter way to close for comfort at this stage of my journey.
It was especially tough because Rosie loved cruising. Rosie loved water in all its forms and especially loved travelling on it, whether it be in a small, open-top boat or a huge cruise ship.
I missed Rosie’s love of cruising.
And in that moment I really missed her… more than any time since she left my side last year.