"I think sometimes we conceive trips or journeys as an escape and my hike was the opposite, it was a journey back into myself." - Cheryl Strayed talking about her hike across the Pacific Crest Trail.
I never really knew how to verbalize why I've always been drawn to the idea of travel until I read that quote. Last summer after stepping away from Aloha Sunday, I was feeling a little lost, a little disappointed, and a lot confused. As timing is everything, my two good friends Haley and Jess also needed to take a step back so off we went to jaunt across Europe.
Our trip took us through seven countries and thirteen cities in nine flights, five buses, six trains, and endless taxis. We had a wonderful time and we expect to be back soon. For awhile, I simply looked back at what a great trip it was: fun, breathtaking, and memorable but nothing life changing.
But only now, almost a year later, as I sift through the photographs, I realize how transformative it really was. You can't spend 18 days straight with the same people sleeping in the same room, eating at the same table, and drinking from the same bottle without really getting to know them, yourself, and ultimately what you value in a friend. Honesty, reliability, and loyalty.
You always hear about it how its harder to make friends as you get older (I'm only 23 does that count?) but I've found it's easier. It's easier to tell if I'm compatible with someone or not, a talent I've only recently acquired. There might be less of them but they are stronger and deeper. The bullshit is lessened and the connections strengthened.