Entering the Solitude

May 16

After traveling for almost a year now, I’ve learned that I experience epic difficulty transitioning from one chunk of the journey to another, which tends to be about every two or three months. One or two – sometimes even three or four – days I spend in total mental and emotional meltdown. Questioning everything, worried about everything, sad about everything.

This time, I’m doing things differently. Instead of jumping into my Europe adventure by dropping myself smack dab in the middle of a big city, I’m going out into openness. 

I’m spending three nights at the Glendalough Hermitage at St. Kevin’s Parish, an hour or so outside of Dublin. They have single hermitages for people seeking solitude and lots of trails for hiking. At first, I was thinking of this as just an opportunity to relax after working every day (minus two days) at sea for the past three months. But I think it might be more than that.

Their website has 14 guidelines for practicing solitude, like “Listen.” “Be present.” “Move mindfully.” And I looked it over a couple times and asked, “But what do I do to practice solitude?” The answer, I believe, is nothing.

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