Would her trip to China go as planned? Would she enjoy the company that she had chosen to assemble around her? And would they hold up their own end of the travel partner bargain? Will they cramp her style, or suffocate her with their constant presence? Will they rely upon her to confidently lead the way in unknown areas? Or will they discredit her sense of direction and charge forward with their own plans? Would they be willing to watch her suitcase with a hawk eye while she went to the bathroom in the airport? Or will she be left out of the support system that they built with each other? Could she count on them to truly have her back in a foreign country? Or would they be more of a burden than support? Will she lose her passport or her mind first? – Hopefully neither, but she would place money on the second possibility.
She had become accustomed to travelling alone, and it was odd for her to be planning an international, month-long trip abroad, with the company of two other people. What was even more odd was that she was actually willing to be a third wheel the entire span of their trip, with her two travel companions being her brother and his girlfriend. They had been together for seven years, and she had been living with them for two years, and she was on the fence about whether any number of years was worthwhile to invest in the future of that relationship. They so often placed her in the middle of their conflict, or would leave the conflict unexplained, hanging in the air around them for days, allowing others to be affected by the highs and lows of their relationship. She had known what she was getting into when she agreed to move in with them in the first place. She figured the buffer of the large house they occupied, accompanied with the additional buffer of other roommates, would allow her to live a life that did not feel like her childhood home or leave her alienated as a permanent third wheel – she had been wrong in that assumption. She loved living with her best friend, her brother, but the sacrifices she had to make as well as the ones she constantly saw him making, was enough to drag her down with the whims of their relationship. She had grown to despise all words that came out of the girlfriend’s mouth, and could feel the slow rage building and boiling inside of her every time she had to interact with this woman. She would have never chosen to have added this personality to the cast of characters in her life, as her mother already held the spot of Irrational-Judgemental-Semi-Supportive-Friend. This woman’s presence in her life added nothing of value that she could see, besides inspiring and organizing their trip to China. She also had inspired plans to teach English abroad in 2018, but she knew that she would not be inviting the girlfriend to accompany her, as she was uncertain if their relationship would last past the approaching international trip. She had a sinking feeling that this trip was the deadline, and final test of their historically unstable relationship. She had always been so confident in making the best of her trips abroad, and using them for the refreshment that she needed in life, but she was unsure if this trip will be just as satisfying as usual. She had carefully chosen her travel companions in the past, but this time she had allowed her destination to blind her to the people that would be joining her there. She was certain that she would feel like a fish out of water in Asia, being so tall, pale, and obviously Western, and so she had decided that it was alright to bring two familiar companions to help her navigate such a foreign land. She was already regretting her decision though before she had even stepped foot outside of her home though. The presence of her travel companions was more of an unnecessary crutch and security blanket, when she knew that she was in fact the most experienced traveller out of them all. She would only be relying upon them to rely upon her heavily, and that’s not what she had in mind when she originally invited herself along for the adventure. But that’s what headphones are for, for those moments when she needed to shut out the demands and itineraries of others, and just be in the moment, observing with wide eyes the foreign, fascinating land and people that surrounded her.