The third and last edition of my trip to Juneau was my last full day there.* It was a day of firsts for me. Welllll, technically my whole trip was one big first since I had never been to Alaska before. But I decided to go zip lining on the morning of my last day. It was amazing, to put it super plainly. Some things speak better for themselves when you’re accustomed to living life from exclamation to exclamation:
Someone asked me if I made any friends on this trip. First of all, lol, because I was only there for three days (and contrary to popular belief, I don’t view most first encounters as the starts of beautiful, lifelong friendships). But, I did tell this person that I both did and did not make friends. I will explain-
My favourite part of travelling alone is how much it pushes you out of yourself and forces you to experience things. You cannot go to a place you have never been to before, sit down in your hotel room, and scroll through Instagram. This is not to say that scrolling through social media in any way diminishes the authenticity of your experiences (solitary traveller, not hermit). But, you find that you want to be fully present and in each moment whilst you are on your own. At least, I find that to be my case. No matter how good of a photographer I become or how many absolutely stunning shots I capture, they will never be as good as the images that I store in my mind’s eye because those will be always be filtered by emotion. So for me, when I travel alone and am not caught up in myself, this remarkable thing happens-
I meet people.
I mean, I hold conversations with strangers and share stories and experiences with them. I learn about their lives – as much as they are willing to share- and they learn infinitesimally about mine. And for however long that encounter lasts, I make a friend. I made friends with my hotel lobbyist and the woman I hiked down Mount Roberts with. I even made friends on my wild wild zip lining adventure and at the salmon bake, where I concluded my Alaskan experience. When I left Juneau, these people did not leave with me and I do not remember a single name. I do not think I will ever encounter them again nor do I particularly wish to, so we are not friends. But they were all my “friends” for a few hours and they all contributed to my amazing experience. Andddd on that note, here’s a picture of me gliding from tree to tree:
* – Notice how I started with no apologies for my serious writing procrastination? Yea, me too.