What is love? What is companionship? What is the sense of belonging- of staying here for a while, of just wanting to see you smile?

For a travel journal these are questions one might read and scoff, “Why is she writing about love, when she should be telling us about her adventures?”

Because one does not need to catch a plane to travel, some journeys are emotional and metaphysical.

I travel to look at the love and companionship that has eluded me all my life. Growing up, seeing my parents and their beautiful companionship, and now surrounded by a brother, his wife and two children who clearly worship me, the yearning for a person to share my adventures with has always been there.

I travel to escape and paradoxically build memories. Having been given the option to stay home at 18 or leave, I opted to leave, and have never looked back. Traveling through the remote areas of Syria, standing in the middle of Maloula and hearing the oldest Greek Orthodox Church bells pealing on one side, while the muezzin calls for Friday prayers emit from a loudspeaker; listening in hushed reverence while the prayers are intoned in Aramaic, the language of Christ; standing under a waterfall nestled in Cambodia, watching the sunset at Angkor Wat; standing mesmerised in reverence at “The Last Supper,” weeping in happiness at The Uffizi; stunned into silence at the depth of depravity at Auschwitz; the list goes on and on and on, with one commonality. Always alone, always solo, and always yearning for someone to share the adventure with. To hold hands and drink in the adventures which so uniquely make my travel experiences so off the beaten track that they belie description and understanding.

For a brief interlude I may have found that. But like all epic stories, the sort which you find someone who is the closest thing to a soul mate, a happiness, a hands intertwined, a silence during a Star Wars movie, occasionally interrupted by “Did you see that!” moments. A companionable silence, the fighting to be recognised, until all that is, that was left was a requiem for a dream.

So currently in Sydney, while I watch the couple ahead of me managing their overflowing grocery between the two of them, and the other couple next to me where the woman absentmindedly pick a fleck of dust off his shirt, a gesture as intimate as ever, I ache for a promise that was never to be.

And while silence, revenge, despair and all the components which can make traveling the only reason to escape all come together, there remains a single promise made on the steps of Budapest National Museum.

“Are we doing a waltz Bisma? Are we twirling in Budapest Bisma, on a street corner!?” he said.

Memories, which have this capacity to remain within us and tear us apart, every moment of every day of our existence.

A dance which was never to be. A twirl left in the middle, while one looked as the other walked away.

So I keep dancing on my own, planning where I will travel next, excited and melancholy at the same time about all the beautiful things I will see, and all the beautiful things I will not see.