Finding Your Tribe
Just like in summer camp, there’s this unspeakable bond you make with people who you meet while traveling. One small conversation on the train can lead to a lifelong friendship. When traveling, your guard is down and you are completely connected and present.
I have developed some amazing relationships with people I have met while living abroad and on holiday. In fact, a friend I met in Thailand helped bring light this topic. We have discussed how easy it is to meet incredible, like minded people while traveling, and how hard it is to find or relate to people back home. He shared a quote with me he heard recently, completely revealing the current state of human interaction and relationships.
“Next time you’re out, look at the people around you. Everyone is dressed up to impress everyone else, but nobody is talking to each other. Traveling is the exact opposite, nobody is dressed to impress and everyone is talking to everyone.”
At home, many of your friends are in your life based on history. You have shared memories and firsts through the years, however, as the years pass your interests and views on life have shifted. Finding common ground can sometimes be difficult. For me, I am somewhat of the outsider of my friends back home. Many of my friends have not traveled internationally nor do they desire to.. and that’s ok! I love them nonetheless. I am that weird friend who sold everything she owned and took off at the not so ripe age of 27. Most of my friends and family could not comprehend or come to terms with the fact that I wanted to leave my cushioned life in America. I had the opportunity to take an established teaching job and was on the fast track to domestic married life. Why would you want to leave THAT they asked? Because the mere idea of it made me feel like I was suffocating. I wish they understood. It was hard to articulate why I felt this way, yet I had this intuitional feeling I had to roam. I knew there was more out there. And through my nomadic, gypsy lifestyle is where I found my tribe.
It’s the best feeling when you meet someone who immediately gets you. I found that once I broke free and began my new life as an expat. I finally met people that got me. There is something about being in a new place that makes you completely vulnerable and open. You end up talking to and befriending individuals you wouldn’t typically talk to in normal circumstances. To meet friends in Korea I would just walk up to someone on the street and ask what their favorite local bar is or directions to a restaurant. In Bali, I met some fascinating women from all over the world by simply striking up a conversation at breakfast. One of my favorite memories made in Bali was with two women I met over a meal at a yoga center. We ended up sharing a personal and spiritual moment together with a Balinese spiritual healer. Lastly, I met a badass Canadian (as mentioned previously) out on my last night on Phi Phi Island, Thailand. A simple hello and a comptetive beer pong game has led to an international friendship. Human connection is where it’s at people! Why can’t we do this more often?
Lastly, it’s refreshing to encounter people who can relate to your passion. Over the last two years, I have found more like minded, wanderlusting, grab life by the horns type of people then I have in my entire life. We have similar interests, goals, and a free spirit mentality. Those are MY people. Your tribe might look completely different, however, I encourage you to find it. Do your current friends fill your cup, know what sets your soul on fire or support your aspirations? If not, find people that get you, inspire you! Life is too short to be surrounded by people who don’t understand you.
And for goodness sakes, everyone put the phone down. Your soulmate or soul sister could be sitting right next to you.