A Globe Full of Friends

Posted by on April 10, 2013

One of those things that nobody mentioned much about traveling long-term is that you end up meeting and becoming friends with folks from all over the world. It always strikes me as really cool, though, that even outside of things like Couchsurfing or just spontaneous hospitality I know that I’ve got this huge network or people spread all across the globe where I can find an old friend and a happy reunion with the possibility of hanging out for a few days.

At some point, I’ve found, you’ve stayed traveling long enough that people just sort of assume you might already be where they’re going. Every once in a while I get an email saying something like “Hey, I’m gonna be in Europe next month, you around?”, and I love the sense of potential and the freedom of movement that implies!

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Kyle’s house in Crete. Note the olive grove where a front yard might otherwise be.

Which is all to explain how I came to be staying here, in a huge house on the Greek island of Crete that I’ve been using as a launching point to walk across the island. My friend Kyle, a dude I’ve known so long that neither of us really even remembers the specific moment that we met, is living here with the Air Force for a year in what sort of seems like it must be the best posting in the whole armed forces.

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Balcony view, south to the White Mountains where we’re currently trying to climb the mountains of Crete.

Each morning, staying at Kyle’s place, I wake up and throw open my bedroom’s balcony door to let the light and warm and fresh air of Greece pour into the room. Its a hard life, really.

At the moment (as this posts), I’m actually wrapping up a ~3 week hike across the island. Kyle and I should be right around the top of Crete’s White Mountains, hopefully taking in a panorama that stretches from the Sea of Crete in the north to the Libyan Sea in the south, and maybe even all the way west to the larger Mediterranean.

By the time I get done with almost a month of hiking, though? I think I’ll be ready to sip coffee on my balcony in the mornings instead of getting up and climbing mountains!

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