A Tinge of
August 4, 2006

It has officially happened. It was bound to happen, right?

After 3+ months I am experiencing some homesickness…

It slightly hit me the second day I was here. Then I felt it a bit again yesterday. And then again today.

The problem with going solo to do some ‘R&R’ is that while relaxing on gorgeous beaches my mind slowly shifts its focus from
the book that I am reading to thinking about not having anybody to share this place with. This feeling is only intensified
because I don’t even know anyone who has been here before. At least if I knew someone that had been here in the past, we
could swap ‘that was one of the most picturesque countries’ stories. I know it sounds silly and not like a big deal. But think
about it. That is often why people get so excited when finding out a person that they are talking to has been to the same foreign
place that they have been. Memories get bounced back and forth and they can both relate to one another. And that is what I
realized I am missing from this place. Nobody is really going to care about my memories here. I know that. And I guess it
started bothering me yesterday because this is truly one of the most gorgeous, idyllic settings I have ever seen.

Today there were a couple of things that made me sad. First off, my friends next door at the hotel I am staying at left. I had
dinner with them last night and had breakfast with them again this morning. And I said my good-byes to Agnelle (pronounced
like ‘Danielle’ without the ‘D’), Geoff and Alex with hugs and kisses before they headed off to the ferry. Geoff and Agnelle live
in Australia and I am really hoping it works out to see them when I am out there in December. It was nice having friends here
for a couple days.

The other time I got sad today was on the beach. I was reading a book that Lori gave me that she loved (‘Fall on Your Knees’).
I was reading a part that had to do with death and family. I guess it’s only normal that it would send my mind wandering. At
that point I longed for my sister. Or at least to talk to her. In any other country I could buy a SIM card. But things like this
aren’t so easy in Seychelles. So instead, my mind could only wander more…

In the book there is a part where the sisters curl up against each other in bed. Not in a way that girlfriends and boyfriends do.
But in the way that it is done completely platonically with family members or extremely close friends. I was reminded that the
last time I had an experience like this was when I climbed into my mom’s hospital bed that was in her room in her last month
of life. I just laid there and cuddled into her. It was at this memory when I started crying on the beach. The tears were luckily
concealed by my sunglasses. I have talked to my sister about the fact that there have been so many times in the past few
months that I have wanted to call my mom or send her a postcard to let her know the things that I have seen and done. I know
that after the ‘What the hell are you thinking!?’ thoughts that would have initially crossed her mind when telling her about this
trip, she would have warmed up to the idea and truly enjoyed hearing about it. Then I started wondering ‘I wonder what my
dad would have thought about it.’ I obviously have no idea. He was a creature of habit. Vacationing at the same resort in
Hawaii every year was all he needed to make him happy. He probably would not have been able to understand this though I
am sure he would have supported it. One thing that I can almost say with certainty that he would
not have supported is the
way his daughter (that he put in girly-girl dresses until the age of 9 or 10) was now leaving her hotel room in a rotation of 3-4
tank tops and pairs of pants looking like a riff-raff. It made me almost felt guilty for looking like such a scrub. I will just assume
that he would have understood...

Thoughts then shifted from family to friends. I even had a mini-revelation about friends. I used to be under the impression
that the sign of a good friend was someone who was there in times of rough patches in someone’s life. The more I think about
it, this is actually an easier time to be there for people. An ear to listen. A shoulder to cry on. Heck, I know of times I have
offered these things to complete strangers who unloaded information to me on airplanes. I realize this has more to do with
human kindness than anything else. In times of sadness, both good friends and almost complete strangers have been there for
me. In fact, people
still are. I can’t count the number of people who have asked “What do your parents think about you doing
this trip?” A totally legitimate question. I almost feel sorry for them before I tell them the answer because I know most of
them will feel uneasy hearing it. Far more uneasy that I feel explaining. At these times I feel their sympathy (“Oh my gosh.
You poor thing” is a common response from people of an older generation) which is unnecessary since I don’t feel sorry for
myself. I am the person I am today because of everything I have encountered. Anyway, I am digressing. I know that.

To get back to my point…

I think the sign of a good friend is actually one who is there in times of happiness. That is when the true colors shine. A new
relationship. A new job/promotion. A marriage. And in my case…this trip.

So many friends have written the kindest words to me in emails both before departing and while I have been gone. To know
that I have had their support from the moment I decided to go ahead with this crazy idea has meant everything to me. But
then there is always the flip-side. There are a couple of people that I have always deemed some of my closest friends. Yet I
have not really heard from them. Only a couple times in response to an email I initiated. And even then, there was no mention
of my trip (despite my inquiring about what was going on with them). I know this sounds selfish. People don’t need to care
about what I have been up to or how things are going for me. It just bums me out...that's all. But these are just the thoughts
going through my mind right now. Why is it that when people are truly happy (for any number of reasons), people assume that
the support of friends is no longer necessary?  

Give a girl some time by herself plopped on a beach and these are the thoughts that run through her mind…
Back to Seychelles.