Whether it is the person you meet at the hostel, your Couchsurfing host, the other person on the walking tour who is travelling alone, or the couple you meet on a tour bus, travelling brings people together from all walks of life in such a way, that a simple ‘so, where are you from‘ or a ‘can you take a picture?’ is enough to strike a connection, and then conversation begins, next thing you know, you’re eating and drinking together, smiling and sharing with those who were complete strangers only hours before. You may even end up staying in the same place for some time, perhaps on a language summer course, or on the Camino. We cultivate these friendships, knowing full well that we just may never see them again.
|Best hostel group ever! Budapest, 2012.|
Today, I would like to dedicate this blog-post to those people I call: the travelling passer-by friends.
So, who are these people? Well, first of all, they are travellers just like us. Chances are, they have travelled before. They come in all forms, and your relationship with them can be of varying degrees, depending on how long your paths run parallel. But they all brighten up our day, they all enrich our journey, and they all touch our lives one way or another. And more often than not, they give us a very good story to tell…
Some of you we will add on a form of social media, others, we may have never have caught your full name, and therefore can’t find you on Facebook or Twitter, but we wish we could. Regardless of how well we are able to keep in touch, if at all, we will never forget about you, especially if you made us smile.
|The sweetest German couple, I only remember her name being Pia Appel-something, and they were either from Hamburg or Hanover. If you guys see this, please give a shoutout!|
These friends are part of the reason we love to travel. It is not just about experiencing it all ourselves, but sharing some of those moments with others. This is best experienced when travelling alone, because it forces you to open yourself more and go beyond your social comfort circle, but even if you are travelling with others, that should never stop you from making these passer-by friends.
|Her name is Stephanie, a Brazilian studying in Germany. We had no common language, but still spent a walking tour and lunch together in Budapest! If anyone knows who she is, please lead her to this post!|
Travelling brings you in contact with all kinds of people, and it opens your heart and mind to what makes us human, and how we are all connected and share so much more in common than we could ever imagine people from opposite sides of the world ever could!
So here’s to you and all future passer-by friends to come. Thank you. Thank you for sharing a meal with us at the bus tour pit stop, thank you for striking up a conversation during the free walking tour. Thank you for taking pictures when we were tired of selfies, and thank you for sharing your story – a piece of yourself – over a local beer. Maybe you took us in, fed us, and gave us invaluable insider tips, and were more generous than we could ever imagine.
Thank you for being part of the good in this world, and for making wandering this Earth that much more exciting, enriching and rewarding.