Monday, May 30, 2011

Friends Along the Path

Within a short time, I was amongst friends again. It is amazing how when you travel, you can make friends at the drop of a hat. Your backpack alone gives you that first thing in common. The road erases your differences and you embrace people for their smiles alone.  It still amazed me though; that ease of friendships formed. Back home, you can pass a million faces and not look at any of them. Or worse, not talk to anyone for fear of the what ifs and the dreaded maybes that could harm you from the “strangers” that filled the world. As I ambled along though, all those strangers were friends that I just hadn’t met yet. I was ready and keen to meet them all.
The newest friends in my roster were Stuart and Rob. I met Rob in Malindi. After my long and uneventful night bus from Nairobi to Mombasa, I quickly moved along to Malindi. The plan was to explore Mombasa later on my way back through town. For now, I was headed  North on my adventures.
In the pleasant town of Malindi, I met Rob at the hostel where I stayed. Over the two days that I explored the coastal town, I got to know Rob a little bit. He was a quiet sort that had a bit of a weird feeling to him, but we discovered that we were both headed to Lamu, so decided to join forces along the way. Heck, we are all weird in our own ways and being a traveller made anyone alright in my books. Despite our differences, we were still on the same path.
So waving goodbye to Malindi, Rob and I climbed on board the bus to Lamu. It stopped on the side of the highway to pick up us dusty travellers, then we were off again. We found a seat and right ahead of us was Stuart, another backpacker. He was travelling alone from Mombasa, also headed to Lamu. We got to talking and figured that perhaps sharing a room between the three of us would help to stretch our traveller’s dollars a little further.  
Once it was decided, we all got to know each other a little bit better. Stuart was much more dynamic than Rob and we instantly clicked. We had similar taste in music, food and conversation flowed between us like water. By the time the bus pulled up to the ferry dock, I felt like I had known him for years. Rob, Stuart and I laughed and joked waiting for the ferry that would take us across to the island. I was excited to get to know another new place with my new friends. While it wasn’t a long crossing, by the time we reached the other side and landed on the vehicle-less island, I knew that my travelling companions were a good match for this new adventure. Lamu shimmered in front of us, like an oasis ripe for exploring. I faced it smiling. 

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