a man gazing out over a city landscape at sunset
Spurred by the writing of my subsequent e-book about my years on the street, I discover myself wandering the halls of reminiscence reminiscing about my final decade of journey.

I dig via outdated photographs and journal entries. I search Fb for folks I met years in the past. Tales and faces lengthy forgotten zoom again into my thoughts as I’m wondering the place they’re and what they’re doing.

These whose lives briefly intersected with my very own on the freeway of life.

The 5 backpackers who impressed my unique journey. The lady from that hostel in Prague who welcomed me into her good friend group after I was too afraid to say hi there. The Dutch guys I spent weeks touring with in Australia. The motley crew I spent a month with in New Zealand. My pals from after I lived in Bangkok. The parents I picked up on my street journey throughout the states. My first Couchsurfing host. Or this group of loopy cats I spent a month in paradise with:

sharing a meal with new friends

As strangers in a distant land, we have been one another’s help. We have been the very best of pals, companions in crime, and someday lovers.

But, as all of us wander additional alongside life’s path and solid our head backwards, we discover one another’s mild fading like a star being snuffed out, till at some point, it’s gone and nothing however mud stays.

new friends

What occurred to the parents I hitched with in Iceland?

The place are all these folks now?

The place are the Spaniards from Valencia who I partied with in Florence?

What occurred to Lennart, the man I performed poker with in Amsterdam?

Does Jen, a German lady and my first relationship on the street, nonetheless stay in Australia?

The place is that American couple from Bocas del Toro whose info I forgot to jot down down?

The place are these folks I met in Thailand that impressed me to stop my job?

These of us I stay with at that hostel in Taiwan with?

friends goofing off on a sand dune

I met these of us in Thailand and visited in Bordeaux. I keep in mind this present day. The place are they now?

The place are the numerous others I spent days, hours, and minutes with in hostels around the globe? Those who wandered unfamiliar streets, partied into the evening, broke bread and laughed with me?

What are they doing? Do they nonetheless journey? Did they make all of it the way in which around the globe like they hoped? Are they glad? Married? Do they like their jobs? Are they wholesome? Are they even alive?

And have they got related ideas?

Do they consider the folks they met? Do they arrive throughout a photograph on Fb, sit again, and get misplaced in reminiscence?

goofing off before rafting

These guys made me understand I labored an excessive amount of after I traveled….and I don’t keep in mind their names.

Is there somebody on the market proper now telling that story a few loopy evening in Prague and together with me in it?

Wandering your previous is like wandering a minefield of emotion – pleasure, pleasure, disappointment, remorse. They’re all there. Each reminiscence stirring collectively its personal parts of every emotion. There are such a lot of folks I miss and marvel about. I do know it’s silly to assume that everybody will keep in your life perpetually. Individuals come, folks go. Rising aside is a truth of life. Individuals, life, and conditions change.

matt with new friends

What occurred to those cool dudes??

However that doesn’t make me marvel any much less.

Our paths might not intersect once more and the reminiscence of them might fade (actually, what was the title of that couple from Bocas?), however their impact on my life will stay with me perpetually.

Perhaps, like me, they want that they had stayed in contact just a little longer, stated sure to that picture, and stare out on the sky hoping they’re being considered too.

As we go our separate methods on this lengthy twisting journey, perhaps that’s as a lot as one can actually hope for.

I’d prefer to assume they’re telling their good friend/beloved one/child, “There was this one time….”, remembering me, and saying “That was a cool man. I hope life is treating him properly.”

Sure. Sure, that may work for me.

That can hold me going till the subsequent time I wander again into this room and wipe off the mud once more.