Friendships on the road

One of the essentials for a traveller? Trust.
It’s been quite the ‘theme song’ of this past week – the most unsettling of an already-difficult year.
It’s no wonder, then, that I chose to talk about trust.

I used to trust people easily up to my teenage years… and then I started building some walls. Not as high as I know others around me do, but high enough to let only those with genuine intentions pass.
Meanwhile, I kept acting the way I was raised by my parents and grandparents – with kindness towards anyone who needed my help. So, in a way, I could say that trust was always on offer, even though in a more limited amount. J

Travels took me – alongside Marcel – not always to the safest of places. The only option to be able to explore them? Trust a perfect stranger. We actually do that without realising it: when we take a bus or a taxi, when we board a plane or a ferry, when we order a meal in a restaurant. Why couldn’t we do it one on one?

When we look at a beautiful picture of a certain destination – I said it before –, we cannot perceive the vibe of the place. We can only do that when we find ourselves THERE. You’ll also have many surprises when you realise that many countries or areas with a bad rep are actually amongst the most welcoming and safest spots you’ve explored. The other side of the coin applies.

People who are still capable of connecting to themselves and feeling will discern between a dangerous and a secure environment. In the case of the latter, they’ll probably make friends. Friendships on the road/between people living far away from one another – are they easy or not?
The Eternal City

They can be flaky. Most of them.
Lack of good communication, a different set of priorities, and the great distance could break such a relationship, even though chemistry was at very high rates in the beginning.
Some friendships fizzle, at times only on one side, leaving the opposite friend wondering why and feeling disappointed. It happened to me, too. I went to great lengths to visit some dear friends [or so I thought] in their home countries and… the planned reunion never happened or left me with a bitter taste when I found that things weren’t as I knew them.

There are, however, those cases when people click and know how to appreciate what a special friend they found. They hold on to that relationship, they cherish it, they find incredible joy in simply meeting for a few minutes or hours in a corner of the world.

These moments stay magical. My glimpses of joy for the second half of 2019?
Flying to Rome to meet my close friend Graham and his wife, Betty, while they were travelling through Europe, all the way from Australia. We had gelato, fun, and long walks under the piercing Roman sun.
Betty, Graham, and I in Rome, Italy

The pears and the flowers received from my dear friend Eugenia and her lovely little girl in Moldova. She always spoils me with something! Last time, in 2017, it was with ‘Bucuria’ chocolates.
With Marcel, Eugenia, Sara and two other close friends of ours, Alex & Cata, in Moldova

Last but not least, I haven’t seen Nuria and Telemaco – our grand friends from Argentina – for almost 9 years. When she finally told me that it was about time we met again (and not only talk about it :P), I even found the plane tickets to take us back to South America. And to finally meet their beautiful daughter.
Nuria, Telemaco, Marcel, and I at las Cataratas del Iguazú, Argentina

Disappointments may still be in the cards, but you may just realise in 6 days – and not 6 months, with the experience gathered – that some friendships are not worth the investment.

Then again, for all the few happy cases – which outweigh all the failed friendships put together –, you may still want to wear your heart on a sleeve, love, respect, and trust that stranger you meet on the road.
Lightning could strike. J        

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