Up and down. Back and forth. Left and right. Sideways and around in circles. The directions my heart has been pulled since my departure from DC. “Marry me.” “Move back for me.” “Let me travel with you.” I’ve heard it all. It never stops, but I never bite.
My friends however…oh, my friends, well, the photos and texts from friends have slowly dissipated. I know the cycle. I’ll fade; our friendship becomes slightly obsolete until I’m in the right zip code. I know how this goes. It’s my own fault, because I’m the one who leaves. I get resentful, but only a little, cuz I’m sensitive you know? I love my friends like family. But the effort is practically gone already. It always surprises me to see who tries long-term. It’s never who I expect. It really hasn’t been at all.
To be fair, I like being alone more than anything else. I like contemplating and being reflective. I am sad sometimes. I am lonely sometimes. It’s strange though, because the moment those feelings creep back in, some amazing person/people enters my life while traveling and reinvigorates my enthusiasm and thirst to keep going even while I exhaust myself by my outrageous and self-induced schedule.
Meet Brad and Jen.
These two made Halong Bay, Vietnam for me. They are a Kiwi couple traveling the world together over the next 2-3 years. They love to smoke and drink. They love to skinny dip and curse. No religion but travel rules them. They love one another fiercely and are open to third wheelers like myself tagging along with them some of the way. We spent the day and night downing bottles of Halong Bay beer, drinking in the Bay under the boat, singing karaoke, watching Brad jump off the boat butt ass naked at night and getting into trouble with the staff for it and eating some pretty amazing food together the next day back in Hanoi. Both of them opened their hearts to me and vice versa over a two-day period in northern Vietnam. Incredible people. I am now going to New Zealand one day. Thank you for being the most bad ass Ambassadors for your country. I will be surfing your couch when you get back.
Next up, meet Olivia.
She is a beautiful, French-Canadian girl who studies at the University of British Columbia. She has a gypsy heart with urban guilt. A well-rounded woman who dreams of traveling the world singing with her folk band, Tits and Bread.
These three made the exhaustion and missing my friends a little easier. In fact, they gave me one of the best days of my life. People make it all worth it. This is why I travel. I know for a fact that I could show up to New Zealand and surf with Brad and Jen any day. Olivia would host me too in Canada and wherever I end up, they’d be welcome as well. It is beautiful how the world works. They were gifts dropped on a boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Check out the video with Olivia’s beautiful voice singing a Shakey Graves song with some scenes of Halong Bay in the background. It is a magical place that EVERYONE should visit. Make sure when you go to Halong Bay, do either the 2 day, 1 night option where you will sleep on the boat, or do the 2 day, 3 nights option where you sleep on the boat one night and stay on Cat Ba Island the next night. I stayed at Green Hanoi Hostel for $8 a night for my own private room. If you’re feeling uber frugal, stay in the dorms for $4 a night. It is cheap and you can book your trip to Halong Bay with the staff downstairs.
If you have an interest in Olivia’s band, check it out: