Maybe I met you while we repelled down waterfalls together, or on a crazy truck ride up to a temple on a hill. Or maybe we danced the night away or had a deep conversation that I still remember months later. Or maybe we had the most amazing experience swimming with phosphorous plankton together and then parted ways to never speak again.
I remember most of you. I even remember some of your names. Some of you are more fuzzy, either due to my alcohol consumption when we met or the passage of time, but I remember the good times we had together.
The thing about constant travel is that you’re always meeting amazing people who you’ll probably never see again.
The connections you make on the road can be so transient and this awkwardly leaves you both lonely and fulfilled. Sometimes you form deep lasting bonds with people or sometimes you just add another Facebook friend you’ll never talk to. It can be emotionally exhausting to keep meeting people only to part ways. However, it’s worth it when you look back at all the amazing people you’ve shared this experience with.
The people you meet on the road are usually the best type of people. They are typically open-minded, up for adventure and willing to put themselves out there to make new friends. You kind of have to be those things in order to leave the safety of your normal life to explore the world.
Then there are the locals you meet. The ones that open their homes and hearts to you. The ones that are so excited to show off their country, they bend over backwards to make you feel welcome. I still think back fondly of the amazing staff at Dalat Family hostel that honestly made us all genuinely feel like one big family or of our amazing friend in Singapore who spent his whole day off showing us around the city! I feel my heart swell every time I think of the amazing locals in Siquijor who made Joe and I the guests of honor at their block party or the staff at our hotel in Gili that serenaded us every night.
It’s these people who shape your trip. Shape what you learn about yourself and the world around you. It was them that gave me back my faith in humanity and reminded me that the world isn’t as scary as people would like you to believe.
So to all those people I partied with on the beach in Boracay or those that invited me into their house for tea, know that you shaped me into the person I am after this trip.
No matter how short our interaction, I’m a better person for having met you.