So I’m on a flight to Palau. I had never heard of Palau before I moved to Guam but it looks pretty cool and the flight was (somewhat) cheap. I’m with a bunch of coworkers and this is the first time, in a very long time, that I have traveled with anyone.  
As coworkers, we spend a lot of time together. Since my arrival on Guam I have been really good at developing friendships outside of work and don’t spend nearly as much time with my coworkers as the rest do. I booked this trip on a whim and didn’t really think much about it, until this week. 

 See, lately, I’ve been enjoying my time on Guam immensely, and I don’t want to miss a minute with my friends. So I questioned whether I should even go to Palau. Miss a holiday weekend with the crew? What?

Wait, this is supposed to be a travel blog. I’m out here to travel Asia and the Pacific and go, go, go…huh???

Yeah. I love my friends here that much. We have a blast. Leave it alone 😉

But the past ten days or so with my colleagues has been wild. We lost a former colleague last week and, without a second of hesitation, they jumped into action. Funeral planning, rosaries, mass every evening, donations to the homeless, gofundme campaigns, donating money that they may or may not have… doing everything without hesitation nor complaint. For a man that they knew, at best, for five years.

So the realization here is this: we are modern nomads. Even the locals in our office are so familiar with us that they take care of us from day 1, knowing and appreciating that our days [here] are limited. We learn to love our friends and colleagues like family, because, being so far away- they are our family. We spend holidays together. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, engagements together. We drive each other to the airport, urgent care, hospital. We take care of each other’s pets and visiting friends and family. We support each other in the good times and in the bad. We eat together, pray together, and this week, we mourn together. 

I didn’t know Brian but I mourn hiss passing. I will support his wife. I will support my tired, stressed-yet-strong coworkers in any way that I can.

Today was long. It was stressful. I cried the entire drive home. But then I got my bum to the United lounge (which exceeded expectations) and was so incredibly happy to see my coworkers, my friends, my family. 

So yeah, I haven’t traveled with anyone in a long time. I already warned them that if I disappear and do my own thing, it’s not them, it’s me. But I think we’ll be ok.

Oh, and our colleague passed at 50 years old. While that’s more than some get, it’s less than most. Remember to make the most of your time here, folks.

And onto Palau. ❤️