I was blessed with a good college experience. It was challenging and difficult and wonderful and beautiful, all at once. Colorado State University plays a big role in who I have become. My college experience would have been nothing without the people I met while there. I enjoyed my time there with some of the most beautiful, adventurous souls.
One of those wonderful people happened to be in Indonesia as well. I saw him posting photos on the small island of Gili T and knew I had to take the opportunity to go meet up with him and reconnect.
We arrived the next day, then caught up with my college friend while relaxing at a hostel pool, sweaty Bintangs in hand.
It’s always amazed me that the people that admired my travels in college are now the same people jet-setting all around the globe. He’s been backpacking Southeast Asia and teaches in China now. I’ve got another friend who moved to New Zealand and then Nicaragua. No wonder we connected in college — we share the same insatiable need to explore, to experience, to see the world in all of its glory.
I cannot tell you how comforting it was to be with a familiar face from home. Colorado is so ingrained in the fabric of who I am that it was great to share an experience with someone who also has Colorado in his heart.
We spent the night dancing and drinking and enjoying being young. We danced on tables, giggled and laughed and remembered old times. It was perfect.
We shared a few of the same traveling woes, fears for the future, trading travel stories and scuba stories like baseball cards. When he and I realized we both knew another American, me by way of yoga in Lombok and him by way of Tennessee, we had to have another reckless night. The kind of night that is only acceptable when you are young and irresponsible, still without a care in the world.
And when we said our penultimate goodbye, I realized a few things. The people that touch our lives come and go, and you think you’ll never cross paths again. But these people come back into your life when you need them again. When you least expect it. When we graduated in 2014, did I ever think I’d see him again? In Indonesia of all places? Fat chance.
It gives me hope. It gives me a renewed love for my relationships back home in Colorado. As a traveler, I grow weary of the day-long friendships, the endless goodbyes, the connections that are inevitably severed because you’re going north and they’re headed south.
The beauty of being in Colorado for 20 years of my life is that I got the opportunity to build some amazing connections with outstanding human beings. Those relationships are invaluable. And no matter how far and how vast my travels take me from home, it’s never really that far away. Distance will never get in the way of my relationships, no matter how many miles are between us.