Thursday, 27 December 2012

An Old Soul

On my travels I am lucky enough to meet some incredible people.  People with so much humour, people with an incredible story, people with a fascinating future.  For me, this is the main reason I love travelling.  I am constantly being inspired by others; which encourages me to have more faith in the world, to have bigger dreams and to always hope for more.
Sometimes though, I am even luckier.  I meet somebody who I will forever call a friend.  A deeper connection is made; we are on the exact same wavelength and we both know it.

John.  Born in the USA.  32 years old.  Hilarious.  Honest.  Hairy.
From day one our conversations were unstoppable.  Every one was either filled with jokes, or was meaningful and undoubtedly honest.

My Americn accent grew from stupid-blond-girl to bearded-cowboy; whilst John's British accent was a high-pitched cockney chavs.  It became impossible to have a conversation wih either of us without having these accents involved.

Something else I owe John for is the music lessons.  He was a natural guitarist.  Picked one up in his youth and played songs without even thinking.  He taught me how to play the ukulele without even knowing himself.  He taught me how to listen to music and interpret it in my own way.  We practised together so many days and nights; one month at the farm with him and I felt confident enough to busk in the streets in the next cities I visited.

One thing that made John even more special was his honesty.  All the spare time we had together made long conversations our favourite hobby.  He told me about his past; about being gay and not being able to tell anyone until he was 25 years old.  About his family not accepting it.
He told me about the death of his father two years previous: 40 years old, deciding last minute to attend a school reunion, then falling down some stairs at the school and dying instantly.  John told me how it felt.  How nobody told him, nobody ever said the words, but he knew that his dad had died.
He told me about his siblings and how they struggled so much with the death of their dad.  They each received a small inheritance from him.  John spent it on this trip to Europe.  His brothers and sisters spent it on heroin.  He visited them before he left for Europe and couldn't believe the state they were in.  He said that he would easily have spent it on heroin too, but he knew he needed something more than that to show to his dad.  He knew what his dad was thinking about his decision. "Good for you John. Live your life, live your dreams!"

John had ideas about travelling.  About meeting amazing people, feeling inspired and being happy.  He loved my stories.  His eyes lit up when I told him of my adventures.

Him and Steven ran out of money a month or so back, so they felt restricted in what they could do.  I wish they had stayed and used the ideas I gave them, but a couple of days after I left the farm, they went to the US embassy who sent them home the next day.

Travelling is always a learning curve, as I well know myself, but with John's situation at home I can't help but worry.  I don't want him to get influenced, to get dragged down.  I hope he has enough courage to look after himself instead of putting everyone else before him.  I really believe that he will do what is right for him, it just breaks my heart to think otherwise.  He has ideas and passion, he has life in his eyes, dreams to be lived, and an unforgettable smile that shows all this.  I am so lucky to have met John.  He inspired me more than he will ever know.