“Is there any chance you might come to Cambodia with me one day?”
“Cambodia?!” I ask, turning on my mental gps and trying to locate it on the map. Is it in Africa? I wonder, but I quickly cover up my confusion with a smile and decide the best answer to a question you don’t know the answer to is another question: “Why would I want to go to Cambodia?”
“Because it’s beautiful…” he replies squeezing my arm.
We’re walking together in Cismigiu, the oldest park in Bucharest. He’s my oldest friend. 84.
A long conversation follows as I’m trying to figure out why he wants to take me to the end of the world, since I can’t afford to pay for almost anything on such a long and faraway journey.
“I tell you, if I were fifty years younger, you’d be having a very hard time trying to get rid of me. But I’m not, so I can just be your friend”, he says laughing, trying to assure me of the terms of our relationship and help me relax into the proposal. But I still find it difficult.
“You like travelling, don’t you? So why then can’t you accept that life is giving you a present?” he finally asks the question that manages to convince me to say yes.
“Really?” he asks. “You are coming?” Now he’s the one who’s surprised. It’s the first time he’s met someone who’s as crazy as he is, it seems.
This is who I am. Once I know it’s something I want, I jump in head first and I go all the way. There’s no half measure with me. And I am brave enough to go to the end of the world with someone I’ve known for a very short while. I am thirsty for life. I have been so since I decided to live, after having been so close to death in early childhood.
It’s been one year since my journey to Cambodia. And it was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. It has changed me. Now, a year later, I’m going on another journey. This time with a partner. Not a friend. Not just a lover, either. Someone I’ve decided to give a chance to. It’s hard, I’m not gonna lie. Every day I am a battle ground for these two inner forces – the one saying I should leave and travel on my own and the other one, the softer one, that wants love and companionship and dreams of domestic bliss, both on and off the road. I try to love them both. Last year this is what I asked for, keeling in all the temples I visited: “Send me my partner. Send me my travel companion. And I will serve You forever.” This is what I got.
PS More about the current journey and the one in Cambodia soon on the blog.
PPS The title of this blog post is a line from a song by Aphrodite’s Child that I like – End of the world.