I write to you with a broken heart, and a major life change. Today, I become a solo traveler.
Mark and I are broken up. I won’t go into details despite the temporary a vindication that might give me — I respect the sanctity of our three-year relationship too much to do that, regardless of how it ended. And our own two feelings aside, I know Mark’s family and some of his friends read this blog (at least up until now) and I adore and even love some of them far too much to subject them to that.
What I will say is that boyfriend just isn’t an adequate word to describe what Mark was to me. He wasn’t some guy living in the same city as me with whom I went on dates on the weekends. He wasn’t someone I’d fallen into a familiar routine with. He was my best friend, my co-worker, my travel buddy, my biggest supporter, my safety net, my partner, my rock. He was family. We lived together, traveled to 11 countries together, and turned our lives inside out to be together. And we had plans. We were going to live in Australia, backpack in Peru, volunteer for Sea Shepherd and work together on a luxury liveaboard. We were going to take over the world. The word boyfriend just can’t sum up what Mark was to me.
From the moment we met in Thailand all those years ago our relationship was summed up by one word: crazy. We skipped continents, moved countries, hopped borders, racked up air miles, made sacrifices, spent hours on Skype, and worked like mad, all in the name of… love.
In choosing this crazy nomadic life together we stood on the edge of sanity, tethered ourselves to one another for safety, and jumped headfirst into the unknown of the open road. Alone, I feel suddenly that I am adrift with no life raft.
Seemingly overnight, this blog has gone from an open-book story of my life to a painful scrapbook of a relationship with a shocking ending. Over three hundred posts of excruciating recaps of happy times Mark and I spent traveling, and even more emotion behind the scenes, where Mark was my biggest fan and supporter as I threw my hat into the blogging ring. Yet in light of recent events, suddenly posts like this seem a bit too open… even a bit embarrassing. Even now perhaps I am being a bit too raw… showing a bit too much of myself. But if there is one thing I have learned about myself recently, it is that I have a hard time knowing when to draw the line.
However, this blog is one of my greatest accomplishments — a few pieces of html code thrown together to create something that has become my business and my passion. I refuse to let it die alongside the relationship it grew up with. But please, be patient as I find my footing again. Posts may be sporadic, emails may go unanswered, comment replies may be delayed. I’ll be back on my feet soon, I hope.
Right now I’m struggling to merge the happiness of my experiences over the past three years (many of you have been along for the ride since the beginning!) with the devastation I feel now. A friend wrote to me in an email recently that she would rather “hike up to the top of the mountain for the beautiful sunset only to find the cloud cover than have never hiked the mountain at all.” I’m not quite there yet… but I hope I will be someday.
I will miss this man that I have shared the past thousand days of my life with.
Obviously… this has turned my life and all my plans upside down. Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on what I’m doing to pick back up the pieces. For now I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, and every other breakup cliché that you can possible imagine.