wanderingsonearth

Wandering around the globe

Tag: fun

The people you meet

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An artist. A programmer. An x-marketing executive. A piano player for the Ritz in Bangkok. We all were running.

Phillipo was running from the rich Italian family that expected him to keep a conventional job. Max was running from the cold weather and people of Moscow. Florenso was running was the society that kept her enslaved for the past ten years. Henry has been running since he was 18. And I was running from fears, love, and life. 

When you meet people on the road, you have no strings attached. You don’t have a past and definitely don’t have a future together, but usually our similarities allow us to form a in the moment friendship.  In most circumstances, the bond formed between fellow travelers is one that is stronger than ties with people  you have known your whole life. Since you have no pretense or connections with them you can open up about life, history, and problems. You discuss your fears, what you’re running from, and whats waiting back home. 

The two weeks in Langkawi we spent together were stagnant and rather mundane, but every night at dusk we had an unspoken ritual to eat dinner together. Max worked through the day. Phillipo drew. Henry made music. While Flo and I sat and walked to find our souls somewhere in the clouds. The days were long, while the nights were short. 

We always began with a meal on the beach. Spirits flowed and conversation flourished. Phillip always asked bizarre questions like “What does your home look like?” As you’d say the routine “Two story, cabin, on the lake” He’d interrupt and say “No, no, no what is the inside what colors, what smells, what are the small character details that make it YOUR HOME.”  Through these small conversations we slowly began to piece together the lives of our new friend. I knew that Max lived in a small Moscow apartment that was filled with Marxist books, because his parents were the poster couple for the former USSR. I knew that Henry had his own organic heating system in the hills of France that filled his lush home. These small details brought my new friends to life. It gave them a background story.

On other nights, we would sit and look at the stars for hours. It appeared that Max knew every star in the orbit and was happy to tell us all about the space system. Phillipo was always trying to find the milky way. Flo was usually already half asleep and I just sat listening. At moments like this it seemed surreal that I was a world away from my family, laying on a beach, with friends from all over the world. At that  moment, they were my family, my friends, and my partners. For people who dont travel frequently it is hard to imagine such a deep connection with strangers, but a connection with a stranger is usually the deepest one.Image

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Lost in Kunming

Arriving at Kunming International Airport, I was highly optimistic to travel alone for the first time in over a year. On the flight to China, I kept talking to myself. Reminding myself to be self-confident, overly friendly, etc. I wanted to make some friends and not be alone for a month. I thought it would be the ideal get away and help make me feel more “independent”

After the flight I got on a bus to the city center, then I looked at my hostel directions and thought “I cant get there by bus, no problem”. The second local bus was filled with smoke and dust. There was another woman with me and she was smoking her handmade cigar. As we headed out of the town it was dusk and I was thinking to myself how it was strange that the bus was starting to wind around a mountain. I asked the lady sitting in front of me if this was the right bus and she assured me that it indeed was the right bus for my hostel’s address. As I climb up the mountain my mind began to race a bit about the direction we were headed. It seemed odd that an international hostel was on the side of a mountain, but I kept going.

As we reached my destination, my heart began to race. My body was filled with fear. I did not want to get off the bus, but to my dismay it was the last destination and I had to. I reluctantly stepped off the bus and looked around to see pitch black nothingness. I was petrified. I walked up the street to where I could see lights and began asking around for my hostel. It appeared there were NO hotels in this village. I scrambled the streets looking for the road my hostel described and after an hour declared that it was non existent. 

After admitting defeat, I asked around about how to get back to Kunming. Seeing as the last bus left and that there were no taxis in this small village, I began to ask locals for a ride back downtown. However, I realized most of the people who occupied this small town were males and I was not about to get in a car for an hour with a strange man. I rushed around asking other females for a ride only to be told “bu yao” or “no”. Finally a middle aged woman agreed. 

She had a hardened face, probably from years of work, but her smile gave me assurance that it was going to be okay. We headed for her home, got her husband, and their van and descended off the mountain. The couple could both sense the tenseness and fear in my little body, so they kept chatting to ease my nerves. The lady even offered me a dozen apples, as she was a local apple picker. As I ate my three apples in replacement for my missed dinner, I began to feel safe again. 

We finally were back downtown and the hotel search began. We finally arrived at a safe hotel and said our goodbyes. On that very night my faith in humanity was reaffirmed. I have always traveled with the mindset that there are more good people than bad in the world and this lovely Chinese couple from the mountains of Kunming reaffirmed that!

28 Reasons to LOVE Taipei

28 Reasons to LOVE Taipei

Taipei has become my unofficial second home. I sometimes miss it so much you would think I was a Taipei native. It is such a magical city and I am so happy to have worked there for 6 months, studied abroad there for 9 months, and traveled around this lovely little island tucked away in the South Pacific. 

Taiwan stole my heart.. If you are an avid traveler interested in Chinese, Japanese, and Asian culture, cuisine, and art GO TO TAIPEI!!