12 Who of 2012
It is impossible to travel and not meet people. Letting those people into your life is something you need to work at. Sometimes due to my constant moving I don’t open up to new people whom I know I won’t see after tomorrow. But more often than not, I let myself trust the person, and turns out, they are fabulous people that I can’t imagine not meeting. People are important to travel, and these 12 people made my travels in 2012 incredibly memorable.
The Who of 2012
These are the people who entered my life and who left an impression. They changed how I was travelling, how I was thinking, or how I was feeling. There are many more than 12 people, but these 12 are some of the ones I consider left the greatest impact on me. In chronological order of meeting them:
1. Emi from Argentina. We spent 2 days on the islands in Lake Titikaka, Boliva together on a tour. She was exceptionally kind, and an extremely positive force for moving forward with life, no matter what it sends your way.
2. Janet from Vancouver, Canada. I met Janet while in Peru and we both happened to be travelling to Cuzco and onwards to Macchu Picchu. I had all my time planned, Janet is a free spirit, we joined up becoming instant friends and travelled together for 2 weeks. Janet has been travelling the world for the majority of her life. She is an inspiration to me.
3. Hicham from Marrakesh, Morocco. When I was left behind in the train station in Marrakech with an overnight wait until the next departing train, Hicham asked me if I’d like to come to his families home for the evening so I wasn’t alone. They fed me, dressed me, and toured me around the city by motorbike. The extreme kindness of strangers and the genuine goodness of the Moroccan people was reinforced through Hicham’s actions.
4. Sabeel from NYC, USA. I met Sabeel in Fes, Morocco and convinced both her and most of our hostel to take a day-trip to the Volobilis Ruins. She was our bargaining expert and handled to Taxi drivers. Sabeel struggled with returning to the USA as an Engineer and as we continued our friendship via facebook, 6 months later she is now living the life she wants in Egypt. Now that is fun!
5. Stephen from Iligan City, Philippines. We met at the same hostel, at the same time, as I meet Sabeel. Stephen was instantly enduring, and was the person you turned to in the conversations because you know he’d make you laugh. He laughed the group through our taxi struggles in Meknes, Morocco and generally adding to the joy everyone experienced while staying in Fes.
6. Amador from Madrid, Spain. He hosted my through couchsurfing for 4 days in Madrid. He guided my plans into feasible ones, helped me book trains, plan outings, and shared his life story and his many adventures with me. He made me curious to see parts of the world not on my radar.
7. Mojca from Kranj, Slovenia. She was my couchsurfing host. She extended herself as host to me through the website and I took her up on her offer. She became a sage advisor to me in a very short time, helping me reflect on my life and my choices in a way I never could alone.
8. Alen from Zadar, Croatia. As I stepped off my bus in Zadar, I had no idea where I would stay, what I would do, I just knew I wanted to be in the city. He approached me in the station and offered his apartment for me to stay in. He said it was up in the hill but that he’d drive me to the centre as I pleased. I quickly agreed, I love kind strangers. The apartment was beautiful, and his family was too. The countryside living also suited my need for solo time perfectly. And a golden sunset helped too.
9. Apostolos from Athens, Greece. My couchsurfing host who made me appreciate Athens for everything it had to offer. He opened my eyes to his home city and all its best features. All of Greece’s pains were forgotten with the passion Apostolos showed me for his city and his country. He also showed me a kindness that went beyond what I expected – he let me be lazy and rest when I needed to.
10. Jess from Dominican Republic. Jess and I worked together with S-Trip for 1 week in the Dominican Republic. Each morning we’d meet on the beach before the students woke and laugh over the events of the previous night. Jess loves to travel and this common interest kept the conversations going. And now, I’m following her adventures around Europe.
11. Natasha from Melbourne, Australia. We met at a travel massive in Toronto, Canada. I was temporarily living there and she was doing her placement there. Many beers and the same direction for the walk home found us laughing and discussing Australian life. Half a year later I’m moving to Brisbane, Australia, she’s back home in Melbourne, and places to meet in Sydney are in the works.
12. Jill from Calgary, Canada. I met Jill on a bus in Ottawa, Canada. She was heading downtown from the Airport, as was I. She asked for the specific stop, I told her it was the same as mine. We started talking, and since I was heading for lunch alone, I invited Jill to come along with me to one of my favourite Ottawa hole-in-the-walls. We had lunch and we went our separate ways – I love strangers.
And these are the 12 people who came to mind. I can’t forget about the hundreds more who made an impact on me this year and have to thank them as well. I’ve had an incredible year, and it couldn’t of been so
amazing had I not met these individuals.