While strictly adhering to my rigorous schedule of reading, eating, and napping around Lake Atitlan, I was lounging on the Iguana Perdida deck admiring a particularly lovely view of the lake and volcano directly across from me, when a family of six gathered at a table to my right. They began a family meeting, planning out the activities of the next few days. Hike or kayak? When? How long? Where to? But what about Dad’s knee? But sis only wants to go for two hours. On and on. To my solo ears the negotiations and polite politicking were painful. Just break into smaller groups, I wanted to tell them. It’s okay to be on your own! See how each of you feels in three days and then go with the flow! Of course, this is more of a reflection on me; it is unlikely that a goal of their family trip is to splinter, but doing so a little may not be bad now and again.
How quickly I have grown used to and satisfied with an independent life. If our paths cross and continue for a little, wonderful. If they diverge, it has been a pleasure and thank you. People warned me that doing just what I like would be easy and addictive, and I am afraid they were right. I hope that even on shorter trips I can embrace this spirit and relax the definition of “traveling together”, even when I am with dear companions. No offense, guys.