Human Relations on the Road
One of the single most important things about traveling are the people. The people you meet, the people you travel with and the people you have to leave behind. Everyone can be a good or a bad ingredient in the cocktail that is your very own special trip. Because I was so caught up in human relations for the last few weeks, this blog is about just that: The people.
Santiago el Trotamundos
Meeting Santiago is one perfect example for positive human relations, which can almost exclusively happen while traveling. Where else can you meet strangers on the street and get invited to their home instantly? I might have thought after my first big journey once: Only in Australia! But the truth is that it can happen to you everywhere you travel. In Santiago’s case he had very special reasons to stop his car and talk to us backpackers sitting next to our old camper truck.
Santiago (Osbaldo Llanes González) is an actor, who chose to combine his love for traveling and the interaction with people in his role as Santiago Trotamundos (Spanish for Globetrotter). With his show he travels and visits schools around Mexico to speak about important topics with the kids. He is also a teacher for acting, next to many other successful projects…
Following his invitation we soon sit together around the dining table with him and his friend Angelica and talk about past, present and upcoming life experiences. At the end of the day we get invited to stay overnight and to have a traditional Mexican breakfast in the morning. One night turns out to be three nights at his place and our stay in Mazatlán becomes a very special stopover on this trip! Without the people, this town would have been just another city on our way. Thank you Santiago Trotamundos for making us stay!
A risky group of strangers
When traveling with a bunch of people on a tide space, it is crucial that everyone gets along fine! Gathering four people of different ages, expectations and languages was to say the least, uncertain! My hopes of harmony were soon to be crushed by the realization of how different we all actually where. But that’s the way things are, in traveling and everywhere else. Some people function together and some people don’t. Just usually they don’t have to life together in about 10m² for a longer period of time!
It didn’t take more than a week with all fours of us together and a few drinks to start a conversation that ended in a fight and was followed by a breakup in the next day. With great sadness I listen to Mark and Clara’s decision to continue their trip with other people they had just met on a daytrip before. At the same time there is a huge relieve because I know it will be the best for everybody involved. Plans in traveling are always subject to change, I knew that already…
While Mark and Clara are preparing to drive to Mexico City, Jirka and me do what we love and hike to a nice lonely spot close to Sayulita to spend the night on the beach and clear our heads for the upcoming trip. Sometimes you just need a break of people as well.
The people from Sayulita
While our own group is falling apart, I have a surprising reencounter with Jenelle. We had met in Canada, both working at the same place in Squamish. Now she is here on the beach in Sayulita Mexico to learn surfing. What a coincidence! Or maybe not? In the end we are both “Trotamundos” and Mexico apparently not to far away from Canada! Like so often while traveling, you cross paths with the people you meet more often than you imagine.
That we meet in Sayulita is also not really an act of destiny, but the atmosphere of that place, that has sucked us all in. Like just a few places in the world, Sayulita has managed to become a major tourist attraction without loosing its unique identity. Reminding me of Byron Bay in Australia, it is the first spot in Mexico where I would really like to stay for a while. But it is not only the nice location on the beach with constant surf waves, a beautiful little center and lots of activities that make this place what it is. It is also again about the individuals. The groovy guy on the beach renting out surfboards, the funny waiter in our favorite restaurant and the always-smiling girl from the café. They all form our experience in a way that will make us remember Sayulita for a lifetime.
If there is a conclusion to be found here, it might be this one: Encounters with human beings, the bad and the good ones, make traveling as interesting as it is. Otherwise it would only be a succession of lonely beaches, mountains and cities without soul.