So, we all travel for different reasons. I was traveling for multiple reasons myself - burnout, wanting a change, unleash my inner free-spiritedness, walk through my fears, etc., etc. Most people are probably traveling for a vacation. These are the people whom were in awe of what I was doing. I relished in that positive response.
Then there are those who are traveling as a way of life - free spirits, nomads. These people are my inspiration. I am in awe of them, even as I become one of them.
Then there are those who are traveling as a way of life who are struggling, who aren't aware of their personal issues and are looking for something...well, not just looking but grasping desperately for something...these are the people whom I have compassion for but need to stay away from for self-protection. I can easily fall into some co-dependent behaviors, losing my focus on my own journey.
I came across one of these people in Galveston, at the camp site of the State Park. He was kind, but with an agenda. He offered me food and warm shelter in his RV during the night since the nights were so cold (which I nicely declined). He wanted to show me around Texas, join him in his travels across the US...basically, he was trying to make a connection that comes with shared time. He was ever so lonely and wanted a companion, immediately. Each conversation became about how I was so much like him and wanting a relationship. Umm...I just met you and I really haven't said much. Ugh! His deep-seated desire to have a connection overstepped boundaries and his comments were so inappropriate.
Instead of being friendly and working towards getting to know each other, he was overwhelming, all consuming...a leech...he showed up everywhere I went. I couldn't go anywhere without being discovered. We were neighbors at the camp and I didn't feel as though I could change sites, so I went to the beach. He found me, joined me on walks...which normally would have been nice other than that I didn't want a leech for company. I felt his needs and desire to be with someone sucking the energy from me - suffocating me. This was an all too familiar feeling.
After a couple of days of this, I knew my time there was now limited. I was hoping that his stay was going to be short, but he planned on being there for a couple of weeks. I couldn't do this for that long. It was unfortunate. I wanted to stay. I never felt that this man was a threat, but that he was so incredibly lonely and seeking something that I couldn't give him.
At that point in my life, I felt the urge to run, and I did. Early the next morning I quickly and quietly packed up all my things and took to the road. That was the best that I could do at that time, run. Now, looking back on it, I would probably have a different response and I could have found a way to take care of myself better and would be able to stay. But, I guess that is the benefit of personal growth. A similar situation probably still remains a trigger for me, but I know that I can do something different other than run.
So, I headed inland, to Austin...a place where residents of Austin consider themselves separate from Texas...