3 Americans and a British man walk into a bar...
“The people I meet are the highlight of the journey. I meet good people, kind people, funny people, mad and sad people and one or two bad people” - Alastair Humphries
It never ceases to amaze me how friendships can be built from the most trivial of phrases:
“Could you take a photo for us please?”
Nonetheless enter the scene Avenda, Delia and Jeff from Boston; 3 travelling American professionals who had made the 4000 mile journey to sit 1 metre from a British teacher in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 Wetherspoons. It is quite fitting that the very first blog post of the 2019 adventure to Southeast Asia would be an account of a friendship made when least expected.
Side note: I have always fondly enjoyed crossing paths with Americans on my travels. They appear to omit a pulsing sense of warmth and infectious enthusiasm when sharing their experiences, which are nearly always in a positive light - it is refreshing.
In a different world we would never have met, but in a vast metropolis of ever-changing faces from all over the world, anything is possible. We shared stories of ‘critters’ and craft beers and I shared the memory of my first experience of baseball at Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park. We then parted ways.
What I found most poignant about this experience was just easy it can be to find common connections with total strangers; in this case a love for craft beer and Twitter. Who would’ve guessed?! In such a small exchange of formalities I had opened up three different doorways to different perspectives and lived experiences. As I write this post solemnly from my window seat of the enormous metal bird which will catapult me across mainland Europe, the Afghan desert and the Indian Ocean, I struggle to contain the boyish excitement of potential future stories and lessons from all those of whom I will cross paths.
This is why I chose the headlined citation from Alastair Humphries as the perfect synopsis for this blog post and for one of my favourite aspects of travelling - the people whom you meet; “The people I meet are the highlight of the journey. I meet good people, kind people, funny people, mad and sad people and one or two bad people”.
Finally, to Avenda, Delia and Jeff who’s to say our paths won’t cross again?