Through my experiences after two months on the road, I quickly learned the people you encounter in the locations you visit will leave a lasting impression just as much as the destination itself. These new friends you meet can greatly enhance your time spent somewhere and will leave you with memories you won’t forget. Experiencing something new together is unique. This backpacker bond, although usually short lived, can form a lifetime of friendship. Good vibes will await the more socially open you are to surrounding yourself with positive interesting people. After all, you never know who you will meet while traveling and what connection you may form. Typically the time spent with new friends on the road has a short shelf life and will eventually expire, with everyone heading in a different direction on to their next destination. But no one is thinking about that, we are present and living in the moment. When you’re together, all that matters is where you are right now and who you’re with. Though short, but sweet, we value the time spent together and can look back being grateful to have met one another.
Part of travel is to discover new places, architecture, food, drink and culture, but who you experience it with will be just as important to recall those special memories even if you haven’t heard your new friend’s whole life story. After a while, city squares start looking the same and statues of a guy on a horse start to blend into one. But looking back on your adventure, you may not remember exactly what you saw on a particular day, but you’ll never forget the person who made you laugh so hard you almost choked on your lunch in that exotic new locale. All joking aside, it can also be about understanding one another as people and the similarities we share. Though we may come from different places, at the end of the day we are all humans and have more in common than we think.
Friendships, unique bonds and adventure! What could be wrong with that?! Sometimes there can be a downfall…
Stories we exchanged. Good times were had. Laughs were shared, and all the booze is gone. Unfortunately, your new friends are also gone and something feels like it’s missing from this location that was so lively and vibrant just a day ago. An empty feeling remains and we feel like we must also move on. Everything has been seen, the city has been conquered, and there is no more spark left to explore.
It’s tough because the coolest people could be right next to you and yet we don’t have the urge or the energy to start-up conversation anymore (disclaimer: not the hangover talking). Travel is about learning and adapting. I guess this is just another instance where that will come into play. If I want to keep having these experiences with new people I will have to be more conscious of my actions. Instead of putting up a wall to the next group that checks in to my hostel room, I will have to learn to consistently be open to making new friends wherever I am and whatever mood I may be in. I am also learning a balance is necessary for being social and spending some time alone to self reflect. But that topic is for another day. There are new friends to be made and the world awaits.