Walker. September 22, 2010.
"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance…" - Cesare Pavese
And that's is exactly what you are forced to do, trust strangers. During my short time of travel, I have met some of the greatest people that will forever have left a mark on my soul and have altered me as a person in some way. It hasn't all been kittens and flowers, as I have came across people I hope to never see again in my life; however, that is rare and probably only a few that have really made me think humanity has taken a turn for the worse.
Instead, I have met the greatest and most interesting people on my journey. Some have inspired me, others made me laugh until I my cheeks were soar, and some I have been just lucky for their company. Here are some examples to illustrate the travelers' mentality, or at least the ones I have came across:
When I was in Bangkok, I met someone who made me laugh so hard we both left the room to avoid the embarrassment of snot flying out our nose or drool running down our face. That same someone we later shared a good cry with about passed relationships as they were going through a hard break up.
In Laos, I was extremely homesick, a traveling buddy who had only known me a day was there to let me throw my tears and sorrows all over her and was comfort the entire way.
When I was ill in Hanoi, someone who had only known me three days was leaving Sprite and water at my door when I was unable to get out of bed.
Again in Hanoi, when I had a family member pass that same someone was there listening to me bawl my eyes out and doing everything to comfort me.
Recently, I met someone who has gone through more than I could ever imagine. I have never met someone like him and his strength and love for life has inspired me in so many ways.
Ones who travel, have a different personality or love for people and are willing to be there for you, even if it's only for a day or two. That's what puts faith back into society. All we hear on the news is the deterioration of society and the concentration is placed on the evil. What doesn't make the news is the empathy and passion people have for one another, even when they gain nothing out of it. Here comes the hard part: saying "goodbye."
When traveling, you meet someone, share memories neither party will ever forget, and then have to say goodbye. Whether it be that day or two weeks later, the 'goodbyes' are coming, and they can get tough. I have cried numerous times leaving people I just met a week earlier. You get so close, so fast, share so much, then have to leave. Sometimes it's just a quick kiss on the cheek and a " Safe travels and keep in touch on Facebook." Others have been long tearful hugs with promises of meeting up in the future. Regardless of the 'goodbye,' the experience and memories stick with and mold you with every step of the way.