One of the most exciting things about travelling or moving somewhere new is the people you meet. Some may be a little strange, some even creepy, like the boys that wait like vultures for the foreign girls to come to town so they can offer strong helping hand because of course, every female with a passport and the desire to travel is a brainless damsel in distress! But aside from the creeps, dickheads and weirdos there are some genuinely amazing people from all over the world waiting to meet you!
Since I’ve been in Lisbon I’ve met so many people from so many different places that I’ve lost track. But then there are always the ones that stick with you, like the bubbly landlord who gave me the best welcome ever on my first day. I’d barley even checked in and before I knew it we out the door and on our way to an art exhibition, a fresh juice bar and an outdoor book fair. We talked about the how amazing life, yoga and the universe are and of course boys... duh! But what was even more amazing is that 2 weeks prior leaving the UK I’d started to think about how difficult it was going to be and how lonely I would be in my first few days when I arrived, but as soon as I met my landlord all those feelings disappeared. We talked about so many things that without realising it, we were helping each other make sense of our current life situations, so we decided there and then while chowing down on some sort of green veg chocolate cake (I swear is was scrumptious), that we would write a book titled, ‘Everything happens for a reason’. And just like that a new friendship was born.
Then there’s the lovely enthusiastic Brazilian lady I met at a language exchange. We agreed to meet one afternoon to practice our language skills and I am so glad that we did because she reminded me of how excited and in love with Lisbon I was the first time I visited which helped me to remember what brought me back. It wasn’t long before I felt like I’d been reconnected with a long lost friend and again, that was the beginning of a new inspiring friendship.
When I had my weeks of weakness of feeling homesick I met an amazing group of people who have no idea how much they cheered me up! From that group of people I met a lovely free spirited, kite surfing French girl. It had almost been a month since we’d initially met but randomly one day I was on Facebook and saw her name pop up, so I took it as a sign and said hi. Little did I know she was leaving the next day so we spontaneously met up for the afternoon and as we began talking we realised that we had a lot in common. We talked about how much we love Lisbon, our travelling experiences and some of the things that we want from life. And just like that, in one afternoon, I went from being in limbo about what to do next with my life, to feeling like I had found the next piece to my puzzle!
And then there’s the 67 year old American lady who is just dying for me to meet her cat, Squeak! This fiery lady left home at the age of 18, found herself some European loving and hasn’t looked back since.
When we first met, I asked her where she was from, she replied “now that’s an interesting question”, to which she gave an interesting answer. I suppose when you’ve travelled and lived in as many places as she has it can become a bit difficult to say that you’re from one specific country, town or city, when your life has been shaped by so many different places.
After sitting next to this lady at an outdoor documentary movie while she decided to become a personal quirky commentator, mainly commentating on how shite she thought the documentary was, I knew I liked her.
On the train back into the city we talked and talked and I realised that this woman has the most amazing spirit and I loved being around her because she honestly reminds me of what life is all about! Despite going against what society told her she should be as an 18 year old girl in the 70’s, she had the balls to go against the grain and follow her heart which has taken her on so many memorable adventures.
For me there is nothing like meeting a complete stranger and discovering you have a connection with them, even if it’s just for a moment or it lasts an entire lifetime. I live for moments like these because these random people I meet from all over the world have helped and continue to help shape the person I am and the person I will become!
Although most of us were raised on a strict ‘Stranger Danger’ policy, I highly recommend you trust your gut combined with weirdo raider and get to know a stranger every once in a while, you never know what will happen.
Love Sara. xxx