When you move far away from all your support systems, your community, and even your partner, it can be hard to maintain emotional stability.
When I first boarded a plane across the ocean by myself, I realized all that I was leaving behind. The beginning excitement of my time overseas kept me distracted, but ultimately, it can begin to tear at the heart when your loved ones are miles away.
I wondered how I could maintain emotional stability while being so far away from my family, friends, and my relationship. I suddenly had to learn how to manage long-distance relationships and feel secure on my own.
Leaping Into the Unknown
I felt like I had a fresh start in the world and was incredibly excited to be living in Southeast Asia.
Yet I realized that spending so much time outwardly focused did not leave space for me to examine my inward feelings.
I wondered how I could create the security of home within myself in order to keep my emotions calm.
One morning I went out for a jog near the northern rice fields to clear my head. As I moved my feet to a run, I began to cry. Being abroad by myself suddenly felt isolating and uncertain.
Being far away also meant different time zones. Every time I tried to contact friends or family, it seemed impossible. I had to stay awake really late or wake up incredibly early to talk to them.
Articulating an experience that was so different from the world I came from was all the more isolating, for it was hard to help people understand what I was going through.
After a couple of months, it began to show in my demeanor and in my emotions.
Near the rice field, I sat on the ground to look up at the sky. I pondered whether communicating my stress and isolation would help me regain emotional stability.
I jogged back to my building and reached out to my traveling partner. To my surprise, she was feeling the same way.
We both were trying to reach out to our support systems that were far away, but we didn't realize that we had one another to rely on in person.
We soon were talking with about our hardships, our confusion, and our feelings of isolation. I realized that I did not need to feel alone in my travels, for there are always other people who feel the same way you do.