Thursday, November 15, 2007
Two weeks ago at the overlook by the El Pipila monument in Guanajuato, Mexico I met an extraordinary woman traveler. On the road for 19 months when I met her, she had a remaining 5 months of travel planned through Latin and South America before returning to Australia.
Her route thus far had taken her through Cambodia and Vietnam and most of Africa where she spent had six months exploring all of Egypt and several other African nations. She meandered up and down the east and west coasts of the United States and Canada with a few days in Chicago, Toronto and Montreal.
I listened as she spoke excitedly and with great enthusiasm about Cambodia, Vietnam and Egypt and was a fount of historical information about Guanajuato and other central Mexican cities and their colonial past. She was a living and breathing travel guide.
Though a writer, she claimed she hadn't undertaken the trip for the purpose of writing about it. I never did find out why she had undertaken the trip and how she was managing to drop out of life for over two years to wander the world. In fact I didn't even discover her name. But we had a wonderful chat at the scenic overlook with the lights of the city below us coming to life as the sun set.
As I returned to my hotel via the funincular, I wondered if I had the gumption and stamina, let alone the time and means, to undertake such an adventure as a solo traveler. Her tales inspired me and enriched my own travels.
Here's to you, whoever you are. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I wish you safe travels through Argentina, Peru and Chile and home.