It was 7:00 a.m. before the first car drove by. By some miracle, they stopped. I was instantly nervous when I saw that it was a man. He could have raped me and cut me up into a million pieces right there on the side of the road and nobody would have been around to stop him.
His name was Bran.
He was a well dressed guy, probably in his mid 30’s and he just so happened to be on his way to the airport. As soon as I learned this I was sure it wasn’t just a sign, but completely meant to be for me to leave and not just leave, but perhaps go farther than I thought.
I left my car on the side of the road telling him I would get someone to tow it once we arrived at the airport, but I really had no intention of doing that.
We chatted for most of the 2 hour drive to the airport. I suppose I was naive, but I was honest with him and explained what situation I had put myself in.
He was a free spirit. Eccentric.
He was a single guy that went all over the world for business. When he got the chance, he stayed in these locations for several days or weeks to soak in the culture. He was an avid outdoorsman, ran marathons and did anything and everything he wanted to. He didn’t have a wife and kids that he needed to rush home to. He explained that he felt lucky he had these opportunities and that nothing was holding him back from taking extra time in these amazing parts of the world.
He explained that he felt as if he was living his life to the fullest and in a way that was making him happiest at this point in his life, just in a different way than most people.
He didn’t feel bad that he didn’t have a wife and kids.
He said it would be a shame to leave the amazing places that he gets the opportunity to travel as soon as his business was over, and had the extra funds to spend this time since it was only him. He also said there was something to seeing all of these great things and not having anyone to ever share it with – only stories to tell his family when he got home and they were never really that intrigued. They just didn’t have the passion for travel that he had. But that was ok because he had met some amazing people on his travels who he had shared some great experiences with and become lifelong friends with.
His parents didn’t always like the idea of him not settling down.
I didn’t understand it.
He was happy.
Why would your family not be happy that you are successful in your career and are experiencing life and culture all over the world? To me, that was incredible. Respectable. Something to be proud of. How was that disappointing? How did that make him somehow lost? Unsettled? If they knew he was happy, isn’t that all a parent would want for their child? No. They want what THEY wanted for their child. What makes THEM happy.
I voiced my opinion to him and I’ll never forget his response.
He said -It’s the people that are ok with society’s definition of a “normal” life (spouse, kids, job) that don’t understand the ones who don’t live it. Because these people are happy with that life, doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is or should be.
It was a pretty powerful statement.
It made perfect sense. We sat in silence for the remainder of the drive.
We parted ways at the airport. He left me with his business card if I ever wanted to get in touch with him again, and with that, he was gone …
But then he came back and said, “I truly hope you find what you are looking for and what makes you happy. That is a difficult quest in life that most people don’t achieve.”
And with THAT – he was gone.