I have so many feelings. I cannot deal. Why did you have to go? Was it really your time? Did you really have no one to turn to in your darkest hour? Words cannot express how saddened I am to hear you pass. I wanted to be just like you, traveling the world, meeting new people, blending into the local culture. You are my idol, a true inspiration. I dreamed of meeting you one day.
Even though you are gone, I know your spirit and legacy will never leave. Your honesty has saved me, but why couldn’t it save you? I wish we could have met so I could have told you that you have so much to live for, you have so much more to share.
I never got to tell you that your episode on Russia deserved a revisit, one without all the politics involved, just food and culture. I never got to work with you, learn from you. I never got to go to your tour, and see you speak live. On this Earth, it will never happen. But I hope to see you in my dreams, that when I feel lost and don’t know what to write, you will tell me to be strong. You once said,
“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
Were you hurt? Did you never heal? Oh how I wish you had healed. You had everything, yet, there was something missing. What was it? I may never know. I can only guess that perhaps despite all the success, you felt like no one truly understood you. But I felt that I did. You were sarcastic because you were hiding your pain, you got angry because you felt you were never heard.
We were not meant to meet each other on this Earth but I will honor your memory. You inspired me to travel to Scotland, you showed me how to be fearless on rickety trains, and how to be an explorer of places less traveled. Thank you for sharing your spirit and passion with the world. You will be missed. Sending you love and peace.
If you feel you are alone, know you are not alone. You can call Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800–273–8255 and you can even chat with them online by going to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Originally published at medium.com