The thrill of meeting new people is one of the most exciting components of travel. For a quick second or minute or day or week, I can forget about the realities of my life and assume the role of a fearless adventurer. I can shake off all the restrictions that tie me down in the real world and fully connect with another human being. The friends you make while traveling, however, rarely become life long friends. Once all parties return home, a break in communication slowly builds because everyone has to deal with the realities of their physical lives. Two summers ago, I backpacked and volunteered in South East Asia. You can read about my experience here, here,here and here. While I was at a hostel in Bangkok, on an unsuspecting night, this guy from Chicago who lives New York City joined our international group on the balcony. He was a pretty cool and laid back guy so we decided to travel to Cambodia together.
My buddy at I with our new friends.
Angkor Wat? bar, Siem reap, Cambodia.
You can read more about the experience in this post. I think we traveled together for about five days or less but we instantly became good friends. When we were done exploring Siem Reap, he left Cambodia and I continued exploring southward. Because of the nature of travel friendships, I really didn't expect to see him again. However, we kept in contact every now and then via email.
With Canadian backpackers at the same bar.
I met them again in the Southern region of Cambodia
I visit New York City regularly so whenever I'm in town, we try to hang out. When we first met in South East Asia, he had talked about visiting Cameroon. Yes! in case you were wondering about my nationality, I am from Cameroon. There is a post about my blog on yahoo answers saying I am Nigerian. As much as I love Naija, Cameroon has claimed me lol.
On our way to the see the magnificent Angkor Wat temples
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Anyways, back to the story. So my friend said he wanted to visit Cameroon. I never took him seriously until he purchased his plane ticket. He ended up visiting me in Cameroon about a month ago and it was, without the doubt, the best travel experience of my life. This is the first time a foreign friend has ever visited me in Cameroon so it felt like I was also rediscovering a new Cameroon for the first time.
Chutes de la Lobé,
The moral of the story is the next time you travel, you might find a very good friend. When I bounce back from blogging laziness, I will chronicle my adventures in Cameroon. I will also do posts about the do's and don'ts of traveling to Africa. Cheers mates!