After a week of hitchhiking, sleeping in forests and camping near gas stations we finally arrived in Lyon. Not only were we going to see some old friends again, we also knew there was a bed waiting for us. We were looking forward to both!
It was great to see our friends Marie and Pascale! When you wander from place to place, you meet a lot of people along the way. Beautiful friendships come to life and because of the short amount of time you have together, you enjoy them even more. Saying goodbye as a traveler means you never know where or if you’ll see those friends again. So it’s always a very happy moment when you meet again.
Marie and Pascale are mutual friends of Niko and I. He met them first during his travels in Morocco. I met them through him, the very first night we started traveling together. Niko and I met for the first time in September 2014 in Lyon. After only knowing each other for one hour, we decided to hitchhike to Africa together. It sounds like an impulsive decision, going on such a big adventure with someone you barely know. But after living together in a small caravan and a tree house in Ireland for nearly a whole year , we knew we made the right decision.
Lyon was a good place to come back to. The memories of our first encounter, our first kiss. My memories of staying with Pascale just before leaving for Ireland. Meeting her friends and spending some ‘girl time’, strolling around by myself in the streets of Lyon, getting lost at night trying to find my way back and nearly getting a golden shower from a homeless guy,… All these small things make me love Lyon!
Strolling along the river bank
We initially planned to stay three days in Lyon. Three days became one week. Both Marie and Pascale opened their homes for us and we felt so comfortable! It’s amazing how much gratitude you feel for small things after living outside for a while. Having a warm meal, sleeping in a soft bed, having a hot shower and doing laundry is luxury for us! Relaxing on a couch instead of sitting at the side of the road is pure bliss!
But the best of all was definitely the company of our friends. Having conversations over a bottle of wine, the jokes, the laughs,the stories… I felt a bit sad when we had to say goodbye. After years of traveling I still find this one of the hardest parts. Beautiful how people can touch your heart. I will always appreciate the small amount of time I have with them.
Traveling opens your eyes, your mind and your heart. What most people in the western world experience as small things, are actually the things that really matter and uplift you. Spending precious time with friends, taking a hot shower and wearing freshly washed clothes can feel so amazingly good! It’s important to appreciate the small things life has to offer, no matter how silly they sometimes seem to be.
“ Who doesn’t honour the small things, isn’t worth the big ones” is a powerful saying in Flemish, my mother language.