The photo above was taken at around midnight – it was raining, we were sitting on a roof, and that is a lightening strike in the background. Perfection.
Well, all I can say is that my experience working at the backpackers in Albany simply got better and better. So much so that it deserved an extra post. The group of friends that I made became really close – working together and living literally on top of each other every day felt surprisingly natural. For a born introvert like myself, I learned to energize myself with others’ energies (a VERY important thing to learn), whilst allowing myself the necessary alone time that comes with this personality type.
1. It is possible to form the tightest bonds of friendship in the smallest amount of time; they are no more or no less important than the friendships you have built for years. What is important is your connection on mutual levels of acceptance, love, understanding. A deep curiosity about ones past, present, and future unites all travelers; often fueling fascinating conversations into early hours of the mornings.
2. It is possible to love someone in the space that you are in, “here and now,” regardless of whether you are about to go separate ways, without a necessarily guaranteed reunion. This is no more or less important than the loves you have worked on for months or years. You can look into the eyes of someone whom you have just met and feel the rhythm of their soul; words needn’t even be exchanged.
3. When you are on any sort of metaphorical ‘easy downhill’ in life, you must enjoy it and not sacrifice this for fear of an imminent uphill. Countless up- and down-hills are guaranteed to come – what’s the point of experiencing a break if you expend your energy worrying about something difficult which will come anyway? This was an interesting realisation that came to me when I was on a run; supposed to be enjoying a literal decline, but rather fearing the next hill around the corner.
I think that although this lesson might sound cliched, many of us know it semantically but do not truly apply it.
4. When traveling, the best time to say goodbye is when you are still having a great time. This way, the memories you hold forever will be the best and you’ll always smile so fondly when reflecting back. This is something that a good friend I made in Albany mentioned, and it struck a chord. It really helped me say goodbye to my acquired family with a big, genuine smile on my face, and a heart filled with nothing but peace and anticipation for the next leg of the journey.
A word echoing in my head throughout the last few days here, especially on the last day, was Maktub. This means it is written and I have never felt more in my life like I was truly on the “correct path;” that things are exactly as they are meant to be. I have read many books by Paulo Coehlo – especially during this journey – and although I have not yet written his book called Maktub, I cannot wait to do so as I know another wealth of lessons and wisdom will lie within its pages.