We constantly meet people in the streets, at cafés, at work or on a trip. These people can, even for a short while, influence the rest of our lives. In their own unique way, they bring something to us that can make us better.
Before going on my first trip to Maui, in Hawaii, I was nervous. I was stressed out mostly because I was going away alone. I didn’t know what to expect and although I had chosen to do this experience without any friends or family, I was afraid not to have anyone with whom I would share the most memorable moments of this journey with. Little did I know, the very strangers I would meet on the Island would be the ones with whom I would, not only share, but also live some of those special experiences.
The first person I met was Mona, a woman in her 60s. She had a dark complexion heritage of her Native American descendants. She lived in San Diego, United States. Mona had a bubbly personality and I enjoyed her energy, vivacity and open-mindedness. After a few minutes of conversation with her, I felt like I could tell her anything and everything. I saw her as a loving mother and a devoted grandmother. Mona was visiting the island to see her granddaughter who lived and worked at the Surf Aloha, the hostel where we were both staying.
Then there was Rose-Marie and Marina, two Europeans girls, whom I first taught were sisters. They were always together. If I came across one, I could be sure that the other was never far behind. A few months prior to their trip in Maui, the two friends had saved their money and decided to leave their native Switzerland for a while to discover the world.
Rose-Marie was the most timid of the two but despite her shyness, she always had a smile on her face and seemed in a good mood most of the time. Her beautiful short dark blond hair made her look like an innocent girl like the ones you see in children’s books. Her eyes would brighten up with every smile. She was exactly the type of attentive friend we all dream to have.
Marina seemed to me like an intrepid and pragmatic girl. She was confident and seemed to know exactly what she wanted out of life. She was not afraid to take the means to achieve her ends. She had initiated the project of travelling and convinced her friend to follow. She was always ready and prepared to face every day’s challenges, which was a skill I admired in her.
Finally, just like Rose-Marie and Marina, Candan was originally from Switzerland. She had a grand sense of adventure and had traveled several countries alone. She had a beautiful athletic build, shiny black hair with intense black eyes. She spoke little, listen with care and seemed very reserved. Without really knowing her, I guessed she was somewhat trying to figure herself out through her journey.
Life had made me meet four women from elsewhere. We came from different backgrounds, but had so much in common: our thirst for adventure, self-seeking and openness to the world. It was this openness that led us to meet one another in Maui, out of all the places. Up until this day, we remain friends and often reminisce and share our old and new adventures.