Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Journal of Steffanie Rivers: Me, Myself And I

Steffanie Rivers

*We are born into this world alone and we leave it the same way. Between those two days most of us build friendships that last for a lifetime or some just for a season. For me oftentimes the dilemma is deciding whether a relationship is worth the time and effort needed to sustain it, or if it has run its course and its best to let it go.

I find myself at this crossroad with someone I consider a friend. We laugh and get annoyed at the same things. And generally we share the same philosophy. We might talk only once every few months. Yet when we do it’s easy for us to pick up where we left off. That’s why I’m having trouble getting past this recent issue.

Since she and I like to travel we thought it would be a great idea for us to vacation together. The first time was in 2016. We had decided to go to Thailand together. Not up the street or around the corner; but to southeast Asia. Flight plans were made, days off from work were reserved and a few weeks before we were scheduled to leave she told me a family emergency had come up and she couldn’t go. I understand things can come up. 

To keep me from traveling alone, my mother – my ride or die – stepped in as my travel companion. We had the best time and I didn’t give my friend’s last minute bail another thought.

Fast forward to February 2018. This same friend and I decided in July we would travel to Bali, Indonesia together. Not up the street or around the corner, but to Indonesia. I’m the planner: I like to research hotels, excursions and flight plans. We work at the same company and we have the same work schedule flexibility. She has more seniority than I do. So if either of us were to have work schedule restrictions it would have been me.

Yet, in June, one month before we were scheduled to leave for Bali the red flags started to fly. She said she couldn’t get her work schedule to line up with the vacation dates. I had no issues lining up my work days off. She hesitated to make flight plans that we had agreed on. I made my flight reservations as soon as we agreed to do so. I got my immunizations and had started taking malaria pills and hepatitis shots already.

Bali Quad

In essence, I committed my time and finances to a vacation that we had been planning for at least four months. Twenty days before we were scheduled to leave she texted me that she would not be going with me. ‘Okay,’ I said in my text reply.

This time my ride or die had made other plans and was unable to jump in at the last minute. So there I was, the last eight days of July, headed to Bali by myself. As I closed my front door and prayed ‘May the Lord watch between me and my condo when we are absent one from another,’ I shed a baby tear wondering why can’t I find people who mean what they say and say what they mean? If she didn’t want to go to Bali – which was her destination idea in the first place – why not just say that early in the process!?

Since I had done most of the research and planning for the trip and I had the days off from work I was determined to make the best of it. Maybe GOD wanted me to go by myself! In that case, THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Three days were spent on travel; a day and half to get there and the same to get back. I had five days in Bali and I made the most of it. I went scuba diving, I took a bicycle tour and learned about the history and culture of the area. I took a Balinese cooking class, got a mani-pedi and had lots of me time. I had planned to hike up an inactive volcano and watch the sun rise with a paid guide then white water raft down the other side, but I had to have at least two people in my group for that. Still, I had tons of fun. The experience was so wonderful when it was time to go I wasn’t ready to go. If I ever go back I’ll have to find another lone traveler so we can do that volcano thing together!

Just when it looked as if I was going to make it back home without any major issues and my mother thought she could exhale, something happened. I’ll tell you about it next week.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her your comments, questions and speaking inquiries to [email protected].




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