Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – 19th December 2009
Most of the time I’m content being on my own, I like the space it allows. I like to think and to do that I need to remove the distractions. To remove the questioning of my thoughts before I have had time to analyse them thoroughly myself.
The satisfaction of working out something new without instruction is vastly greater. It is a barrier to faster learning but the reward at the end is increased. Quality is preferable to quantity, retention of the knowledge is improved.
Humans are social animals though and to deny that begins the downward spiral. Including a check in my system that it’s time for some company after an extended period of solitude is essential. It is after all surely impossible to gain true perspective without another’s view on a topic. The trick is as ever, ensuring that ‘other’ understands the basis for your opinion and can therefore add to it instead of destroying it.
Seeking groups or individuals with similar attitudes shouldn’t be confused with similar interests. Of course it is not necessarily possible to do the former until you have done the latter.
There are few places on the planet as vast, desolate and flat as Salar de Uyuni in Bolvia. The lone cyclist making his way to the sole island in the salt flat was an apt metaphor at the time.
I was there with a group after a long period alone. It was needed, however much I thought not at the time. They wouldn’t have been there if they didn’t share similar interests. However it took time to discover who had similar attitudes and who I could start to relate to and them to me. Over time some I would come to consider as good friends whose company I would look forward to.
That is the juxtaposition of being alone and being with company. I need both to co-exist, for each to respect their boundaries and to understand when the other is required.