Traveling can bring out the best and worst in you. It can break you and lift you in ways you never imagined. There are some days when you feel antsy and the materialistic side of you overpowers your brain …you realize you miss your tempurapedic mattress bed, clean, crisp sheets and even your uncomfortable couch at home. But, there are days when you feel alive and free when you hike for hours surrounded by towering cliffs and incomprehensible natural beauty.
And then, there are days you feel connected to strangers that you talked to for a brief passing moment. You get overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of people. People like this young brother and sister from Korea who were travelling outside their country for the first time. They were in the same room as us in the hostel for one night. We only talked to the sister since the brother was shy, quiet and couldn’t speak or understand English. It was no different conversation than we had with several other travelers we met along the way. “Where are you from”, “How long are you traveling for”, “Where are you headed next”, “Oh, you should definitely go to this place or do this hike” etc etc and some added in random stories.
Next morning when we got back to our room from the breakfast, they had already left, but we found this on our bed.
It was a simple and sweet gesture from them. It made me happy to know that somehow I made them happy. It made me miss home, friends and family. It made me feel that we are all connected even though we are strangers to each other. Maybe all we need to do is open ourselves up and let our guard down even if it is just for five minutes. I will probably never ever see them again but every time I will open a book and see this bookmark, I will remember them.
So, as we leave Switzerland and on our way to our next destination, I want to say THANKS to all the people we met during our entire trip..people who became our friends, people we hiked with, people we partied with, people we shared our hostel rooms with, people we shared and exchanged stories with while cooking or eating dinner at the hostel, people we met on our multiple plane, train, bus rides and the streets, people who gave us directions when we got lost, people who gave us a ride in their car and even people who we only talked to for five minutes — you all left an indelible mark on us with your smiles, your stories, your kindness and your spirit. We will never EVER be the same after meeting you. Thank you and we hope to cross your path again some day!