I cannot believe it has already been over a month since I’ve returned to the States. I have almost concluded writing of my adventures and already, every bone in my body is aching to get back into some foreign, unknown land. I did not know it was possible to be the opposite of homesick. I’m not sick of home though; no, not at all. I am glad to be able to see my family every day, and not have to wear thirty-five layers of socks to shield myself from the cold.
However, I think I have come down with a sickness for which WebMD could not give me an answer. I tried to search the internet to find a diagnosis for this condition, and I came up with a few: wanderlust, cabin fever, and road envy. Of course, wanderlust is just about as cliché and hipster as you can get, so I must say I prefer this term over the others. However, I think one of the hardest parts about traveling is not the leaving of a place and missing the sights but leaving the people. It is fascinating to me: meeting people during travels. This may sound odd, but I think that knowing you will probably never see a person again is one of the hardest and best parts of that friendship.
Why is it one of the best parts? Knowing that I will never see someone with whom I have entertained so beautiful a friendship?
The travelers I met during this trip, they and I, we were all in the same boat, and we have nothing to hide, so opening up, and being transparent becomes far too easy… because you just GET each other. At the same time though, because you have now shared your innermost thoughts with this person in a way that you might not have done with anyone else back at home, you wish that this person could be more available to you.
The very normal, human mindset of wanting what you can’t have kicks in, and you want these friendships even more. Although, I do not think this is the only reason why travel relationships hold so much flame. It is also the beauty of meeting a spirit as enigmatic as ours. Our souls are free, and people who are in love with this kind of freedom easily find love in each other. This parallel mindset ensures that we will always have love for each other. Even if my brain cannot remember their names, my heart will forever remember the love that we learned from one another.
And if the red ribbon of fate allows, our paths will cross once more.
That being said, I would like to dedicate this space of the internet to say thanks and bestow best wishes upon the friends that showed me kindness during my travels.
Lucile: Thank you for helping me with my French. I hope you do make a change for the better in France.
Milu: I wish for you to continue your hula-hooping. It is a beautiful talent that you have been gifted with.
Joao: Thanks for the mojito.
Random Mormon German group that did the salt flats tour with me: Thanks for the pamphlet. I hope the suffering ends.
Deana: Thanks for making damn sure I never visit Germany.
Cristian: Thanks for always having such high energy and teaching me the Loki chant that I will never forget.
Fernando: Thanks for showing me “the good wine.” I still hate wine though.
Nena: Thanks for opening my eyes to a whole new world on how to eat cucumber.
Tiarna and Paula: Thank you for being the world’s greatest bartenders.
Manuel: I hope your bus will always have a bathroom on it. (haha)
Mariana: Thank you for showing me your kind spirit. I hope you continuously rock that hoodie we are all so jealous of.
Jules: I hope you learn how to play cards one day. And I hope you crossed the border alright…
Amaya: I hope your bed will forever have sheets on it. Thank you for being a friend to me.
Tobias: Thanks for the rock and teaching me the art of the “yelfie.” I hope you will one day learn American sarcasm.
Sonia: Thanks for letting me play fútbol with your kids. They were a joyful addition of brilliance to my day.
Ben: I hope you figure out what vaseline is… Also, I wish for more pointing selfies soon. See you in Vancouver!
Eda: I hope you kicked that mountain’s ass. Thank you for taking care of me in my first week of travels.
Joe: Thank you for smooth talking us into Wild Rover, that was honestly one of the best nights I had.
Scott: Thanks for letting me draw on your face, and thanks for showing me how to work my phone. (I never did end up using it though. LOL)
Clinton and Ben: I hope you guys stop smelling people’s armpits. But thanks for helping me to not get kicked out of my hostel!
Gareth: I hope you bring “hella” back to your people, and that your music taste gets better, but thanks for introducing me to “Flight of the Conchords.” (I did end up checking them out.)
Federico: I hope you find the girl that puts mariposas in your stomach. Thanks for the hair-tie.
Napo: I hope one day to reclaim my title of beer pong champion from you. I also hope you learn the real rules of the game. *Cough* technicality *Cough*
Raktaka: Thank you for understanding my vegetarian ways and the struggle of eating there.
Vicky: Thank you for fending off creepy American men and making sure I arrived safely to my hostel upon our 2am arrival.
Salvo: Thank you for showing me kindness and taking me to the bank when my card was eaten by that damn machine.
Monique: I wish that one day you will find your “mirada.” Thank you for blessing my ears with a Castilian accent for three days.
Lette: Thank you for sharing your life with me, and teaching me what “Uni” is…
Hernan: Thank you for getting me outside of my comfort zone and helping me with my Spanish. I wish for 5 more minutes.
Grace: Thank you for being the best travel companion. I am so glad we get to share these memories together. I will forever remember this trip and the laughs we shared. I love you.