So. You have this great idea to travel the world and make friends all over the world, and you do it. You leave everything and make the jump, and a few stops in you make a good friend. You have that connection. And you’re lucky because it keeps happening. You meet new people, you connect, you laugh, you share, you cook together, you eat together, you brush your teeth together, you’re in each other’s pictures, and eventually you say goodbye.
I expected Lisbon to be beautiful, and not only was I was greeted with beauty, but also with kindness, and an openness and warmth I hadn’t felt in other cities. I spoke none of the language but found the sound of it soft and welcoming as I wandered the winding streets. I want to go back.
I landed in Amsterdam last Wednesday around 10am. I was exhausted but grateful to get off the plane. Schiphol Airport was buzzing, and in the middle of a confused crowd heading (hopefully) towards customs, I met Amy, an artist from Portland. Her first words to me succinctly summarized the situation: “I am so confused.”
So far, it seems everyone in Amsterdam is beautiful. And rides bikes.
I’ve wandered the canals, stumbled on the I Amsterdam sign, ran in the park, and visited the Van Gogh Museum. And I’ve taken a few pictures…with my phone. I left my incredibly expensive, amazing camera behind. In storage.
It’s 7:30am some May morning, and I’m knee deep in frigid, Pacific surf. Well, they’re in the surf, and they’ve probably been there hours already – the guys with the wetsuits and boards. I’m wearing shorts and a Vans hoodie, yelling at my camera to focus as the guy I’m tracking catches a right. After he makes the wave and dives off, I release the breath I’m holding and pause to look around. The sky is the same dull grey as the ocean that meets it. The May greys have a solid hold on the coast of San Diego. It’s between sets, and the almost still water is peppered with surfers who waxed their boards before the sun broke the horizon.