He said at the end of their trip they went back through the cities they had been to, naming off their favourite person that they met in each place, favourite food, favourite drink, and favourite thing that they did.
On the rooftop that first night – a bucket full of watered down sangria and a scattered group of people who had all arrived the same day. We were already tipsy off wine. Manda sat down on a broken chair. Two Americans couldn’t help themselves from discussing weed in full detail while many of us tried to divert the conversation. Two Aussies introduced themselves.
How many times did we say goodbye before it was actually goodbye?
Several days in Lagos, dinners, bars, cliff edges, and kayaks. We parted ways for Seville only to receive a text a few hours later, we booked into the same hostel as you, see you tonight for beers. And so it continued.
Lagos, Seville, a brief moment in Barcelona, and a few days in Edinburgh. They were self-proclaimed pub crawl guides, who maybe didn’t expect that everyone would actually follow them around, that first night. Their version of a couple casuals was our version of an all-consuming hangover waiting to happen. They taught us slang that unfortunately isn’t accepted in Canada the same way, we taught them the rules on icing. Somewhere between that first night on the rooftop and that night sitting on an empty patio in Seville, we got to know each other.
There’s more I could say, for sure, but in sum, here is my theory –
Most of the time, the people you meet while travelling you share brief, exciting moments with. Then they’re gone. You might have a few drinks with them, or run into them on a hike and they help you get out of a strange and uncomfortable situation, and then that’s that. Sometimes you end up following them on Instagram and for a hot minute you start wishing you had included Greece in your itinerary. Or perhaps one day if you end up in their home city, you might try and meet up or grab some tips, but there’s also a good chance that all you’ll ever really have was that one night or one afternoon where you crossed paths for a little while. This is one of those happy-sad-special things about meeting people in new places.
In this case, I’m even more thankful that the brief encounter between the four of us prolonged.
It’s been hot. It’s been hot for the past two months or so. I’m permanently salty and sweaty. I love it, and I also want to shower every 10 minutes. We’re exhausted, maybe from being a little hungover, mostly from an afternoon spent kayaking on the ocean. But now it’s early evening – the first time in over a month that the air is cool. I’m in jeans, sandals, and my best friend’s sweater. The four of us are sitting at an outdoor patio, one of us isn’t drinking due to one-too-many the night before. We all ordered different kinds of curry. For me, prawn curry. I still dream about that meal – that setting – great company, perfect weather, just the right amount of sleepy and utterly content.
It’s the four of us – again. We’re on the edge of the cliff watching the sun go down, and passing a bottle of red wine back and forth. The view made the drink even more exceptional. But there’s also something about wine, or maybe just wine from the bottle, when you’re a bit chilly, with good and new friends. We met up with a few other people from our hostel just as the sun was setting and walked back into town, still passing a bottle of red wine between us.
Favourite thing we did.
All we wanted to do was walk along the cliffs, but we didn’t know how far we could get. In fact we were told, that we couldn’t get very far. So we followed the road, jutted inwards in the direction of the water when we could. Found ourselves mesmerized by cement stairways down to small beaches. And then we rounded a corner.
This is a hard one to explain. Everything is beautiful. You already know that if you actually end up where you’re hoping you’ll end up, that it’s going to be beautiful. But I suppose a mixture of tiredness and unexpectedness lead to pure wonder when the trail opened up to a coastline taken over with sprawling cliff edges and crisp blue water. We walked along those edges for hours. Peering down onto secret beaches, even trying to get there. We left due to an unfortunate and strange encounter that made for a good story, but I still remember the feeling when we turned that first corner.