I just got an email from Ilan, a guy from . We did the Salkantay Trail together and the whole group got along with each other quite well. Ilan like many other Israelis was travelling South America after his 3 (for him even 5) years compulsory service in the army. So this is the first big travel for him. The mail was to a long list of recipients, so not specifically for me.
.... "thank you all the wonderful people i met on this fantastic trip that made me feel that there is much more amazing people in the world to discover and believe that meting new people is one of the best experiences we have in life"...
Experienced travellers will notice it was truly his first travel, but was he describes in enthusiastic words is nothing less than the essence of travelling.
If you want to meet really fascinating and inspiring people you have to travel Period. In one week of travels you can meet more interesting people than at home for whole year.
See other side of travelling is of course to go out and see how people in other countries with different culture manage things and life in particular. It is to satisfy your curiosity and to broaden your mind.
One of the best examples for this travel is GuruHans, whom I met in Huacachina, the oasis near Ica. Even now I could laugh all day if I think about his incredible story. His american parents were hippies and bet my ass off that a little too much of the common hippy practices made them turn in spiritual/esoteric people. His parents start following and indian guru that also picks his name.
The guru convinces his parents it might be a good idea, to send their son with the age of 8 to a boarding school in india near the Himalaya. There he soon feels that the stick is still a tool of education.
So he got raised 16 years a Sikh (see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhismus ) wearing turban and long beard. He learns a lot about mediation and was once meditating for 10 days.
Later he is going back to the states. He studies at the and another university where he finally studies art.
Most interesting was, that in our totally different spiritual development we came to some of the very same key conclusions.
Read more about his amazing story on http://www.guruhans.com or buy some of his sculptures.
Guruhans was just finishing his travel in south America and was about to go Pakistan to travel and teach some rock climbing.
In the same place I met a hyper nervous french guy, who used his excessive energy to learn the most incredible things. He worked as a clown for a long time, could balance all kind of things on his nose, could play the didgeridoo on a steel pipe and accidentally cut of his little toe on an LSD trip. He was travelling with another french guy that would not say more than 20 words a whole night but was smiling all the time.
Where do you meet those guys? Surely not in the cafe next door.
But maybe in a little oasis in the middle of the Peruvian desert...