I once wrote this about saying, “Goodbye” …
“Goodbye… a word that when I backpacked around the world become all too common in my vocabulary. Saying goodbye was something that with time I got used to saying, because the circumstances backpacking the world put me in. I met people from all over the world and knew that at some point I would have to say goodbye to them. Some were people I met for a moment in time and others are people I spent days or even weeks with traveling together around different cities and sometimes even countries. Some of the people I met I knew I would probably never talk to again, but some I knew we had something special and would stay in touch down the road.”
Well these are some of the people I have stayed in touch down the road. It’s amazing the people I have met on the road and lucky for me tons of them live in Europe. So when my plans changed and I knew I was going to travel Europe with a Eurail train pass I thought now is the time to reach out to old friends I have stayed in touch with and make arrangements to meet up again.
When I am on the road I am constantly making memories. Majority of the time those are memories I make with other travelers and can not be reminisced with my friends back home or others (that’s why I share my life with y’all). So when I spent half my time in Europe visiting friends… oh the memories came back. We drank… we laughed and we most of the time couldn’t believe half the stuff we had done on the road. Here’s a recap of everyone I met on the road and the crazy shit we have done together.
I met her during a Street Art tour in Buenos Aires and we clicked the moment we both realized we lived in Cairo at some point in our lives. I think we missed each other by a few months or were there at the same time. It’s strange to find other travelers who love Cairo, much less a traveller who has lived there. Oh we couldn’t stop talking the entire tour about how crazy amazing it is to live in Cairo. After the tour because she was living in Buenos Aires and I was going to be there a week we met up again a few other times. One of them was for my 29th birthday. Yeah I spent my 29th birthday drinking a bottle of Bacardi someone at the hostel randomly gave me that we both thought may be poisoned. We jammed to Taylor Swift and Egyptian music and just sat on the balcony of her apartment chatting away. She let me know that when she gets back to Europe and I am there I must visit her in Oslo and that I’d have a place to stay. So after visiting Stockholm Gay Pride I figured I am next door so why not visit? So I did and had a lovely time exploring Oslo , catching up and well reminiscing.
Ali and I go way back. Like wayyyyy back. Ali is the travel addict behind Ali Adventures and Travel Made Simple. We met via Twitter about 6 years ago after discovering we had a passion for travel and wanted to start a travel blog. We both started blogging around the same time and just naturally clicked because we were like minded in many aspects. We had stayed in touch and become virtual friends and finally met up in Spain. We had planned to do La Tomatina (the famous tomato fight) together. I think we both agreed that it was one of the most amazing and yet horrifying experiences of our lives. We then spent a week in Valencia doing pretty much nothing. After that we tried many times to meet up again, but our paths were just not crossing. Well she is now living in Berlin with her twitter romance husband, Andy the Grounded Traveler. She let me know if I happen to visit I have a place to stay and well I did. I spent a week in Berlin searching for Street Art, but when I wasn’t mostly spent it chatting with them about life, gossiping I mean chatting about travel blogging, and well reminiscing.
I crack up just seeing her face. I met her in the Philippines and she was there during my Naked Night in Boracay and then we met up again in El Nido where someone made me question what’s the purpose of life. We had stayed in touch on and off during our time after that, but again were always missing each other during our crazy travels, but finally were able to meet up in Dusseldorf. She was amazing to give me a place to stay in an apartment she had just moved in like a few days before hand. We had a great time exploring a bit of the city and shopping for her new apartment, but most of all we would spend our nights cracking up at the crazy stuff we did during our time in the Philippines. We spent most of our 3 weeks there with each other… oh the memories and the memories we don’t remember from the long nights and days of drinking on the beach. Ahhh good times!!!
I met her briefly in Puerto Natales, Argentina the day before she was going to be doing the W in Torres del Paine National Park. We clicked instantly because neither of us knew what the fuck we were doing and had never done a 5 day trek on our own. I admired her so much though because she was actually like doing it. She was doing it alone with her tent, sleeping bag and every thing for her dinners. I on the other hand splurged to have a tent, sleeping bag and dinner waiting for me at each camp site (hey don’t judge)…lol. We then bumped into each other during the hike and I’ll never forget her face of joy and tears rolling down her face because she wanted to give up so many times, but she did not. I also was ready to give up a few times, but it’s crazy how you just keep going. We made plans to meet up at the same hostel when I finished to celebrate with pizza and beer. She let me know if I was in Paris to let her know so we could meet up again. I honestly had no desire to revisit Paris again, but wanted to see her and another friend I made on the road so did. She met me at the train station and we enjoyed beer and dinner. We sat there talking about the W and how it’s still one of our proudest moments. No joke for me it is hands down one of the most amazing things I have accomplished in my life.
On a side note it’s hiking season in Patagonia now so if you have plans to do the W here is a complete post on how to hike The W in Torres del Paine National Park.
We survived DEATH ROAD together and 3 crazy days out in the AMAZON. I met her during a bike tour down Death Road near La Paz, Bolivia. We clicked the moment I found out she lived in Mexico City for a while and spoke Spanish. Also because we were both at the end the entire time down the scariest road I have ever been on in my life. She’s from Paris and because she too was there while I was in Europe decided to visit Paris. She invited me to a friends party that happen to be down the street from my hostel. We drank, caught up and talked about how we couldn’t believe we did the death road and that the day we did it someone actually died. I witnessed death for the first time with her. I also spent 3 amazing days with her exploring the Bolivian Amazon. It was nice to catch up and well yes reminisce.
When I wasn’t hanging out with them I spent 24 hours exploring Paris.
EEEeeeeeee my Barcelona girls!!! I met them by chance on the rooftop of the hostel in Fez and little did we know then the friendship that would grow over the years because of that short encounter. After meeting we later met up in Marrakech to visit the Sahara Desert. It was the perfect timing because for a moment I was going to go home, but after visiting I wrote an open letter to the Sahara Desert because it just blew my mind. From there I continued to travel with the girls and we made our way to Essaouira and made even more amazing memories. We became quick friends and they let me know that when I made it to Barcelona I could stay with either of them. So I visited them shortly after and felt at home in Barcelona. I said bye to them but knew I would be seeing them in Istanbul. This is how we spent New Years in Istanbul… I laugh just thinking of it. We said our good byes and I saw one of them again. We rode elephants in Thailand and partied hard in Koh Tao, Thailand. After that though I didn’t see them for a long while but remained in touch. After years apart we all 4 finally reunited in Barcelona and it was amazing. I had a blast in Barcelona with these ladies. We ate, we partied, we explored, we lived and of course did a lot of reminiscing. In a week I am actually going to be seeing one of them in Indonesia. Yup going to be traveling together there for 2 weeks. Love these girls so much.
We had talked briefly and for some reason later that night I felt compelled to let her know I was going to meet a guy from Grindr and if for some reason don’t return I have all my family numbers in a blue notebook in my backpack. I was scared because we were on a tiny island and just felt like it’s on islands where crazy shit happens. Anyway nothing happened, but little did we know we would become great friends. On my last day in Ilha Grande the sun was finally out and I told her we should take a tour and that’s where we got to know each other more. She didn’t have plans to visit Paraty, but told her she must because it’s beautiful and well she did and there she helped me go through my debit card problems and crazy fling in Paraty, that opened my eyes. We said our goodbyes and thought that was gonna be it until we saw each other in England, but nope our paths crossed again in Iguazu Falls. OMG that time we cried when we said goodbye because we thought that was it again. Then we tried to plan to meet in Bolivia, but we couldn’t make it happen. However when she arrived in La Paz I was in my hostel looked up and there she was. We couldn’t believe it and just start screaming from excitement!!! From there we made plans to travel together through Copacabana, Isla del Sol and Puno. We were each other travel companions and it was nice. Once again thought that was it, but nope some how our plans changed again and we ended up building a family during the 5 day Salkantay Hike to Machu Picchu. Finally after many crazy nights in Cusco we did say out goodbyes and cried again, but knew we would see each other in England and well we did. I had no clue where Stoke-On-Trent was and had never even heard of it, but knew I couldn’t visit England without visiting her so I sure did. I ended up staying with her Grandma because that is where she is currently living to work and save money to take off on another backpacking trip. We had a great 5 days together. While she worked I would rest and do a lot of nothing and chat away with her grandma. When we were together we of course reminisced a lot.
I met this beautiful couple during my two weeks in Mexico City when I got my travel mojo back. We arrived just around the same time and got to know each other and realized we had plans to see and do some of the same things. I also had a few other things I wanted to see because I had heard about them my entire life in Mexican novelas, movies and well my parents. We ended up spending like 4 or 5 days together and just had a blast. We visited the Aztec Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Frida Kahlo Casa Azul, a Lucha Libre match and many other amazing things to do in the city. I helped them out tons because well I speak Spanish and easily adjusted to getting around the city and doing things without the expensive tours. I’ll never forget when we said our goodbyes they gave me a small gift as a thank you. They didn’t have to at all and that gift is now part of my random travel momentos that will one day go on my travel shelf (need a house first). Anyway they let me know when I was in London I could stay with them so I sure did. I ended up spending 5 days in London and made the most of my time there. While they worked I went out exploring the city and nights we had dinner and drank together along with well reminiscing.
I met her in Dahab, Egypt!!! We spent about a week in Dahab doing a lot of nothing because we were at a crazy resort hostel that for $7/night included a breakfast buffet, pool and place to lay out on the beach. She had plans to spend two weeks in Egypt and ended up spending two months. I was living in Cairo so while she was in Cairo we spent a lot of time together and during our time there even visited the other pyramids. We then later met briefly while I was in Toronto for TBEX and stayed in touch since then as we kept missing each other on the road. She saw I was heading to London and messaged me that she was now living there and I’m glad she did because I had no clue. We were both busy doing our own thing but did make time to have beer and a Persian Dinner. We did a lot of catching up because after all she is one of my few friends who has met him and talked about everything and also did a lot of reminiscing.
I loved that during my time in Europe… travel became visiting friends I met on the road. I didn’t care where I was going or that I was revisiting cities I had already visited. I was beyond excited to see familiar faces during my travels, something that is rare and far between when you are constantly on the move. Traveling solo really is about embracing the unknown and making friends with literally random people you meet along the way and realizing you are never really alone.
I am happy that for a moment my travels became about seeing friends I had made on the road. I am happy I was able to see each of them and I am beyond thankful to the ones who gave me a place to sleep during my time in their city or treating me to a dinner or drink. I LOVE YOU ALL!!! It’s the small things that remind me that we live in a world full of amazing people. Also that I can’t wait to have a place of my own somewhere to return the favor to them and any of my other friends I have made during my travels. Oh & if you ever get the chance to visit a friend you made on the road do it. You won’t regret it & because reminiscing with old friends is always fun!!!