If you are looking for photos of landscapes, buildings and even souvenirs, for sure you will be disappointed reading this blog. My very first thought of what I will gain when I travel was to visit famous places that I saw in travel books, TV shows and magazines but during my first semi-backpacking travel in China it all changed. I can’t believe that I even got teary eyed leaving Shanghai.
Backpacking (or traveling solo) made me open to the thought of meeting other travelers and spending time with them. Sharing travel tips and experiences over a cup of coffee (or sometimes a bottle of beer or a glass of wine). Walking side by side during free tours and exchanging random thoughts on the building that you just saw and immediately became brothers and sisters from different mothers. I love this feeling and that one hour/one day that you spent together can spark a life long friendship.
I have been planning to write about my Travel Treasures a few months back but I thought today, writing and posting this cheesy blog is more appropriate because exactly a year ago, I met a group of travelers in Los Angeles who eventually became one of my closest friends to date and the best travel treasures I ever had. (Travel Blog: Day 1 Hollywood Los Angeles California )
After our day trip in Los Angeles we pretty much stayed in touch. The wonders of social media made it easier for us to update one another of the things that are going on with each other. Some of us continued traveling for a few more months while some came back home. It’s amazing how a simple ‘how’s your day?’ goes a long way…and postcards as well. (the power or snail mails!)
This year, I was so happy to visit 3 of my travel best buddies. Felix from Germany and Andre and Ingvild from Norway. I must say, this has been one of my best travel trips so far (more about these trips in my future blogs)
These three I must say are one of my closest travel friends. I call them my best buddy and best friend in the whole wide world! And to visit them in their home countries a few weeks back was really a great way to know them more and also the people around them. It really changes my opinion about them (for the better of course).
Aside from these three, jumping for city to city, I met a lot of good friends. Some of them just became my 1 day friends (and additional FB and IG followers) while most of them I must say became one of my life long (long distance) friends. I think for those who have been traveling for quite some time now will agree with me that the fun that you will have in every trip will not come from the ‘actual destination’ but with the company that you have.
I remember during our hike trips in Norway, me and my buddy Andre described a perfect day as: Good Weather + Good View + most of all GOOD COMPANY!..and we pretty much had the perfect days (at least for me, I got all that equation in the bag)
I was so blessed to meet different kinds of people since I started traveling the world (a pretty small part of ). I guess putting a smile on your face can easily draw people to you. In all my solo trips, I ended up never being solo t all.
A lot of my friends back home asked me, where do you meet all these people? They were so amazed that every time I came back from a trip, I have stories and photos of this person I met, the family who adopted me for a day or even a few days…etc etc.
If you really want to meet someone during a ‘solo backpacking’, Hostels are the best place to be. Aside from having a roommate whom you will live with for a few days, you’ll easily find people with the same interest as you in the lounges, cafes and in some tours offered by the Hostel. I met several close friends of mine during free city walking tours, hiking and yes, I met some during a pub crawl ( I only tried this once and I must say, I am glad I did). Other avenues to meet other travelers and even locals are Museums, Air B&Bs, car pools and the now very famous couch surfing (I haven’t tried this yet but soon..maybe soon).
The joy of meeting new friends and learning their cultures and stories are treasures that I will take for the rest of my lives. It feels as if you have a home in different parts of the world. At times you do miss them and for sure you will entertain the thought that there is a huge probability that you will never see your best travel buddy whom you met in Stockholm or in Barcelona, but in today’s world, social media plays a key role of still being connected wherever you are in the world.
I think I mastered the art of greeting good morning and good night in different languages. God morgen, god natt (natta), guten morgen, gute nacht, bonjour, bonne nuit, beunos dias, buenas noches, buongiorno and buonanotte are some of my everyday greetings.
I think as long as I can, I will still walk the path of the unknown. Book a ticket to a place where I am a complete stranger and hope to meet a exciting new people and eventually will become my family away from home…..
….and yes, some of them will make you tear up as you pack your bags and leave to another country.—I surely had my share of teary eyed airport moments. As the saying goes (I think I made up this saying or read it somewhere), if you feel sad leaving a place, it only means that you had a great time. AND FOR SURE I HAD!
Have you met someone during a trip who eventually became one of your life long bestfriends? Share it to us in the comment section below. ^^