…de espírito todos os dias (ou só de vez em quando para não cansar)
It’s true! And this is specially true when you go on a trip alone. No matter how amazing the places you went were, no matter how good the food you ate tasted, no matter how many masterpieces you found or how warm the water you swam was, in the end is all about people!
I had the most incredible 4 weeks travelling “alone”. Yes, I left Porto alone, but just in a few hours the quotes embraced me, personified in different faces and nationalities. I love people. So much that in one day I was sharing the desert with people that get along with the Jordanian Royal Family and in the next one I was sleeping in an anarchist commune in Jerusalem.
For 24 days people shared houses, laughter, knowledge, food, stories, hugs, stars, time, drinks, dreams, history, kindness… in quantities that just filled my heart so much that, somehow at one point, I was afraid that it would blast. But it didn’t and so I am here today to thank, remember and name everyone ( I hope not to forget anyone!) that crossed the intersections of my trip!
Khalid! A friend of a friend, was my host in Istanbul. He not just gave me his bed, the keys of his house and tips of sightseeing, he also gave me a perspective of Egypt in the last 20 years, an insight of how is a life of a modern emigrant in Istanbul and we shared beers bought in a clandestine way. Ahahah we were living dangerously!
Shlomi! “Andreia, have you eaten?”, “I will contact a friend that can help you with that!”, “I think it would be nice if you go to East Jerusalem!” And I would answer him “Yes, father”. No, he did not act like a father, but his thoughtfulness was so big that I really felt at home, surrounded by a friend. He took me to eat the best hummus, which by the way is in Yaffo (Jaffa in portuguese) and made me fall in love with that old part of Tel Aviv. He helped me solving some questions by giving me ideas that I could never find on my own. When he left me at the airport on my return I said that I couldn’t thank him enough for everything. And that’s absolutely true. I also know that if he reads this he will think “easy-going Andreia!”
Henrique! I will never forget his smile when we saw each other for the first time, in Porto. Of course I recognized him and though we exchanged some emails, he hadn’t seen my face till that moment, but he just knew it was me and said the most amazing smiled “Andreia!”. In Israel, he enlightened me on so many questions in a moment that I was really in need for answers. After that lunch I felt renewed and uplifted. When you have someone like him believing and encouraging your dreams you just know that you have to go forward! Henrique makes me smile every time I think about him.
Gal, Chen and Rufus (the dog)! My completely blindfold first couchsurfing experience couldn’t be better! What can I say Gal? I’m a lucky girl! (Do not laugh!) I am! But just because I met people like you with whom I could have the most interesting conversations and get to know that no matter where you are Jeff Buckley will always be treasured, because people like you introduced me to more people, like David and Meir, with whom I had a funny night or just because I could talk to someone who just had been in Gaza during the war. Ok, to be honest, I just liked the experience cause you offered me beer! Kidding!
Nabela and her family! With them I just had the most unexpected experience during the trip. Something I couldn’t imagine that would happen, even though some people had already told me about the Palestinian hospitality. The most welcoming and generous family just invited me to their home in the Old City of Jerusalem to have dinner. Not that the previous and upcoming names weren’t welcoming too, but the way all happened makes this experience incredible. It was a great pleasure to change ideas and information with you about Jerusalem and your every-day life!
Allan! The Australian traveler’s agent who saved me lot of time deciding where to sleep in Petra and which Bedouin camp to choose in Wadi Rum. But I will remember him not just because of that. I will remember our dinners and his stories in Marrakesh and Wadi Rum. I will remember his turban, his easy-smile and his outraged look after I told him a bad experience with two bad people (yes, there is bad people in the world, but gladly I just found them once in awhile!). And of course, the beer we drank in a country where is not easy to find alcoholic drinks. But Allan found it!
Eric and Beth! The best way to describe this lovely Jordanian-Thai couple and our encounter in life is using Eric’s words: It felt like we knew each other for a long time! IT REALLY FELT! I could tell you all about the arch’s climbing or how Eric looks like a kid running up a dune or how easy-going Beth is, but that wouldn’t come close to describe them. In just a few hours I knew that we would live all those laughter again one day in some other place around the world. It’s one of those feelings that you almost can’t explain. It’s an empathy that you cannot experience everyday. I will always remember the caress, the jokes and the reflection of the desert rose in their happy faces. I was too emotional when I left the desert, Eric and Beth behind. One of the reasons that I will never forget Wadi Rum is because a friendship just started there!
Janan and Max! The idea of Yoga will never be the same and finally I found someone who shares my thoughts about Christopher McCandless! Janan and Max are two Americans from Texas who do not match the stereotype of what most Europeans think about most Americans (though I’m not one those Europeans as I could explain to Max). We met for only a few hours, but I got to know they are creative, educated, not self-centered, funny people who exercise “miracles” with yoga and take amazing photos! Oh and with unbelievable eyes for shooting-stars! I felt that we could get along very easily if we had more time!
Palanker! Do you have any questions about Judaism or any doubt on what is a Jew? Palanker is the guy you should talk with. He has no answers for every question, but I guarantee that at least you will leave the balcony (yes, we spent a couple of hours in his balcony) more enlightened. Jerusalem is filled with micro-cosmos and to hear people who live there talking so passionately about all of them is like watching a movie. He’s a busy guy and even though he hosted me for two nights and let his door open for my next visit. Palanker I have bad news! I will accept that offer and will want to hear many more stories. And maybe, who knows (I do!) you will feature in one of my productions!
Beto! Being part of the best community in the world, yes, of course I’m talking about TEDx community, is living under the “Ideas worth spreading” mojo. And with it comes the opportunity to meet people who, like me, love the idea of changing the world. Beto is one of them. I’ve always wanted to go to a conflict zone and do something about it and after I attended a workshop by Beto named “Connecting people in conflict zones” I decided it was time to finally get the party started. And so this all trip began. I thank you Beto for the inspiration and hope that you(we)’ll make it through this rough time! And then we can have another lunch in Yaffo!
Obeid, Nayl, Salem and the cat (Oh my God, in this case it’s better to say Allah, how can I forgot the name of the cat?!)! The Bedouins that I stood with for one amazing day in Wadi Rum. Bedouins are proud of their history and family and it’s delightful to hear them sharing all those stories. They were incredibly welcoming and helpful with a delicate situation that led me to a police station! (For those who do not know what happened, there is nothing to worry about. If I make complaints all the time in Portugal, I just upgraded and had to make charges when I was abroad! Lol) And I must say that it was a surprise to know that Obeid had already been in Porto! And loved it! Small world!
Family and Friends! Last but not least, I cannot forget those who from home texted and called daily to make sure that everything was ok. After all you are MY people!
I know that I will meet many, if not all, of you again. Some sooner, some later. Meanwhile Porto and I await for you. Till then THANK YOU for “breaking and entering” my world! 😀