‘THERE ARE NO STRANGERS HERE, ONLY FRIENDS YOU HAVEN’T MET YET’
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
Some people I have met briefly on the road and we have chatted. Some are on similar journeys, some want to be briefly involved in this one. After a time they have continued their journey and I mine.
Some people have stopped me for longer, sometimes given me food, sometimes something ‘important’ to them, sometimes money. Sometimes they have stopped me for a Selfie!!
Some people have spontaneously invited me into their home. Sometimes I have asked around for a place to stay, usually finding it as easy as opening myself up to this possibility and accepting the invitations! Often I have found myself curled up by a fire in a home with a bowl of home cooked food and a warm glow.
I have received emotional and practical nourishment in the food, shelter and contact given and in the kindness so regularly shown to me.
There are so many people who’s photos I didn’t take, encounters so brief that they remain in my mind as part of the greater whole, so many names that I don’t remember … the acts of kindness, the generousity of spirit and the joy that I feel in making those positive contacts remain in my memory long after the names have faded.
As I remember events, routes, countries and places I remember encounters and the sheer weight of numbers of people that have smiled, waved, engaged with me in some way and the fact that we are only strangers if that is what we choose to believe … I prefer the concept of friends that haven’t met yet!!!!
A very few people I have travelled with for a longer time. Special thanks goes to those who have been with me through different experiences and through longer conversations.
Here are just a few of the friends I have met on the road … there have been so many and I’m sure there will be many more!!
Everyone I have met has given me inspiration in some way and given me more than they realise. To every person who has made contact with me, who has raised a hand in greeting, smiled in my direction, offered me some assistance or shouted ‘well done’ in their local language or mine … these gestures have contributed and continue to contribute to my journey, have enabled me to continue when times get tough.
For all of these seemingly small gestures I send out my heartfelt gratitude 💛
Pakistan: September 2017
Tadjikistan: August 2017
Russian Federation: April 2017
Mongolia: March 2017
Kyrgyzstan: November 2015 & June 2017
Uzbekistan: October 2015
Kazakhstan: September 2015 & April 2017
Caspian Sea: September 2015
Azerbaijan: September 2015
Georgia: August 2015
Turkey: July 2015
Bulgaria: July 2015
Romania: June 2015
Hungary: June 2015
Czech Republic: May 2015
Germany: April 2015
Netherlands: April 2015
Belgium: April 2015