Meeting friends I met while backpacking – again

People do come and go in your life but that doesn’t mean that you will never see them again – ever.

You will meet a lot of people while travelling. It’s almost inevitable to meet people when you travel. Even if you are travelling alone, you will meet people. Actually, I think you even have higher chances of meeting people when you travel alone. But I will talk about that in another post! 😉

Most people love travellers. People will want to talk to you; they will be curious about you and will ask you why you are travelling, what you do in life, etc etc.

In the Amazon region of Brazil, many locals travel by ferries to go from one town to the other. While travelling in these small ferries, you will meet locals who will easily try to talk to you. You will also most likely meet travellers like yourself.

In the Amazon region of Brazil, many locals travel by ferries to go from one town to the other. While travelling in these small ferries, you will meet locals who will easily try to talk to you. You will also most likely meet travellers like yourself.

You might think that it’s not so common to travel but there are actually lots of travellers around the world! It’s surprising sometimes to see so many backpackers in some places! Many parts of Thailand for example can be really touristy. Even in really rural places you will unexpectedly meet someone with a backpack and that familiar “backpacker’s look” (I don’t know what that looks like but you will probably know someone is also a traveller).

I hosted Pedro in Toronto maybe about 10 years ago!  He came from Brazil to study English in Toronto for 3 months. While in Toronto, we became good friends. He went back to Brazil and we kept in touched through facebook but never saw each other again, until in 2013, I went to Brasilia to meet him. It was like good old times, except now, we are older. :P

I hosted Pedro in Toronto maybe about 10 years ago! He came from Brazil to study English in Toronto for 3 months. While in Toronto, we became good friends. He went back to Brazil after his courses and we kept in touched through Facebook but never saw each other again. In 2013, I started my backpacking trip in South America and went to Brasilia to meet him. It was like good old times, except now, we are older. 😛

Unless you are really anti-social and do nothing but watch tv while locked inside your hotel room (why would you travel so far just to stay in a hotel room watching tv?), you will have some sort of interaction with fellow travellers or locals. You will have to ask for directions, talk to the hotel/hostel receptionists, buy your train ticket, etc.

I met Say in Toronto about 7-8 years ago while he was doing a working holiday visa program. In this picture taken in 2014, we got reunited again with his friends Flavien, Caroline, Benoit and Emily! He also introduced me to many  more friends in France!

I met Say in Toronto about 7-8 years ago while he was doing a working holiday visa program. In this picture taken in 2014, we got reunited again with his friends Flavien, Caroline, Benoit and Emily! He also introduced me to many more friends in France!

Backpackers will flock together like birds of the same feather. You will go to bars, drink, explore the city with fellow travellers. It is one of the joys of travelling, meeting people and sharing experiences with the people that you meet while travelling.

I met Anders, Rasmus, Kasper and Franzi while walking my first Camino de Santiago back in 2012. I met Kasper again in Toronto. He went to Canada to do a working holiday visa in 2013. I hitchhiked all the way to Aachen, Germany from Belgium to meet up with Franzi. Franzi travelled to Denmark with another friend, Patricio, who we met while walking. They both met Anders, Rasmus and Kasper there.

But then just as quickly as the meeting, you will also probably have to also say goodbye quickly. You each have your own itineraries, your own plans and sometimes, they don’t necessarily match. Your new awesome traveller friends will want to go to a different city or travel to another city sooner than you. And so you have to say goodbye. And that is just another fact of travelling: You will meet people quickly and say goodbye to people just as quickly.

I met Julien in Toronto during his working holiday visa program. After 7-8 years, we met again when I went to his place in Vevey, Switzerland. He now has a wife and they are expecting their 2nd  child this summer! :)

I met Julien in Toronto during his working holiday visa program. After 7-8 years, we met again when I went to his place in Vevey, Switzerland. He now has a wife and they are expecting their 2nd child this summer! 🙂

But hey, we live in a time when “keeping in touch” is almost readily available. We have emails, facebook, instagram, whatsapp, skype and other forms of communicating. And while we can’t just talk to people online, if you want to make your “reunion” happen, it will happen. And also, don’t be too exclusive on your circle of friends! haha… It doesn’t mean that the person you travelled with for 1-2 or 3 days isn’t “worth” seeing again. Or the person that you met 10 years ago, is just a person in the past and and there’s no way that you will meet again. If you want to meet again and if you make it happen, it will happen.

Our Camino family! Annika, Lea, Gregory, Giraud, Johanna and I met while walking the Camino de Santiago in 2014. We did a reunion (and with other Camino friends on Skype) in early 2015.

Our Camino family from many different countries! Annika, Lea, Gregory, Giraud, Johanna and I met while walking the Camino de Santiago in 2014. We did a reunion (and with other Camino friends on Skype) in early 2015.

I think sometimes though, we expect too much of ourselves and from people when it comes to communication. Because quick, easy online communication is readily available, we expect that people or we need to be readily available to us – to always “communicate” or chat on facebook regularly in order to “maintain connections.” We expect that people reply to us fast and quickly. That is just not possible. Especially if we live in different time zones and continents and we live different lives. But even with the distance and time, it doesn’t mean that we are not connected anymore and that our shared experienced in the past is forever gone.

Me, Ida, Pedro and Renske ran into each other randomly in Amsterdam.

Me, Ida, Pedro and Renske ran into each other randomly in Amsterdam. I met Pedro when he was staying in Toronto a few years ago. I know Ida and Renske through him as they shared an apartment together. I was just taking a break from arriving in Amsterdam and saw Pedro walking down the street with Ida. They were on their way to meet Renske! 🙂

It is alright if we have them on our facebook friends but not talk to them regularly. We can still meet them again even if we met 10 years ago!  I myself do not like chatting on facebook or skype. I post things on my social media but rarely chat. But it doesn’t mean I don’t care or do not want to talk to the people on my friend’s list. Or it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to meet the people that I have met while travelling again.

Dom, Sofia, Misato and I met while travelling the Amazonas in 2013. We started talking while inside the bus going to the town of Alter do Chao where we spent a couple of days enjoying the town. A year later, I met Dom and Sofia again in their place in Geneva, Switzerland. I still have to meet Misato who lives in Japan, again! :)

Dom, Sofia, Misato and I met while travelling the Amazonas in 2013. We started talking while inside the bus going to the town of Alter do Chao where we spent a couple of days enjoying the town. A year later, I met Dom and Sofia again in their place in Geneva, Switzerland. I still have to meet Misato who lives in Japan, again! 🙂

It is a small world and we can never have too much friends and connections.  Even if the connection right now is mostly just online, perhaps there will be a day when you guys will have the opportunity to meet again.

So it's been 3 weeks since we finished walking the Camino de Santiago. We are now in Portugal, doing a post-Camino backpacking trip. One day, while we were doing our tourist stuff, visiting the beautiful areas in Lisbon, we bumped into Jin and Masayo - 2 pilgrims who we met while walking the Camino! What a wonderful surprise! We are in Lisbon, Portugal, far away from Santiago de Compostela, Spain and weeks after our amazing walk!  After some minutes of catching up, we said goodbye (again!) and wished them a “buen camino".  We walked a few meters from where we met the pilgrims and we found ourselves standing infront of the Church of Santiago with the big sign that says “Here begins the way (Camino) - 610 kms to Santiago de Compostela."

So it’s been 3 weeks since we finished walking the Camino de Santiago. We are now in Portugal, doing a post-Camino backpacking trip. One day, while we were doing our tourist stuff, visiting the beautiful areas in Lisbon, we bumped into Jin and Masayo – 2 pilgrims who we met while walking the Camino! What a wonderful surprise! We are in Lisbon, Portugal, far away from Santiago de Compostela, Spain and weeks after our amazing walk!
After some minutes of catching up, we said goodbye (again!) and wished them a “buen camino”.
We walked a few meters from where we met the pilgrims and we found ourselves standing infront of the Church of Santiago with the big sign that says “Here begins the way (Camino) – 610 kms to Santiago de Compostela.”

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2 responses to “Meeting friends I met while backpacking – again

  1. Nice post! Happy you are still on the road and in France. I though that you might not return after your unfriendly experiences when you first arrived!

  2. This is really awesome. I have a few friends like this that I’ve met, hosted, and been hosted by all over the world. Great post.

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