Let me tell you about this series of stories I’m going to share with you. As you know – or may not know – Vincent and I are going on a Asia-trip this summer and we want a professional camera (to treat you to some eye candy). I’m currently working a lot and Vincent is keeping his school grades high. These are the main reasons why we aren’t that active anymore. So, this new concept ‘Interesting people I meet’ is to share the stories that people tell to me. I have met a lot of people this year- especially because I have been working 4 jobs!
Meet ‘travelling grandma’ a kind woman trying on some pants and a blouse. After a few minutes the conversation went to Madrid. She told me she just got back and how much she loved Madrid. A good place to shop and the food is good and cheap in the centre of the city. So I told her how much I loved to travel and that I am planning to go to Asia. The conversation turned global after that. The travelling grandma started to tell me she has seen the whole continent, and China. The travelling grandma said: ‘You must visit the 3 big cities Hongkong, Shanghai and Beijing júst to see the differences between them. Oh and I LOVED Vietnam. It has so much history and the food is so good.’
If you love the sweet-sour flavour, it’s the country for you!
‘Where else have you been?’
After she told me about her Asian and Chinese adventures I asked her about other continents. I was curious, has she been there? She told me she has seen it all. All continents and almost all countries. The travelling grandma said: ‘Venezuela is really pretty too by the way and the food is good, I just love food I guess’.
‘Did you travel alone and if you did, how did you manage all of that?’
‘You know, back in the days it was a lot easier to travel. The traditions were different, the people were different. And yes, I have always travelled on my own. With a backpack’ she told me. ‘I just asked people some questions, started a conversation and most of them were like: Ahh do you already have some place to eat? Come, come, come meet my family. So, that’s basically how I found a place to sleep. Plain simple just like that, the old way. No fancy internet stuff.’
‘The people you have met, have you ever seen them or spoken to them again?’
‘Well, some of them. It’s impossible to stay in contact with all those people, especially without internet and cellphones. But there is 1 special girl. I have met her in an African country, she had been abused and hit by several men on the streets. I have financially supported her, she’s in university now’.
That.. is just amazing.
The travelling grandma advised me to travel soon: ‘I’m afraid that it won’t be that easy to travel in the future. There is so much war and negativity going on these days’. ‘Oh and just go and talk to people, don’t be afraid. There are a lot of good people in this world. Spread your word. I mean, don’t seek for the bad people of course.Those exist too.’ The travelling grandma told me that she has her own foundation in South America to help young people to go to school. Sad enough I forgot the name of her foundation.
Last but not last I asked her how old she was. First she told me I had to guess, I had no idea of course. ‘Maybe 55?’ I guessed. She started laughing ‘NOO, I am 70 years old!!’ I was stunned. She didn’t look 70 at all. When I thought she outstunned me, she told me that there was 1 thing that she wanted to do before she wanted to stop travelling. ‘My final adventure is going to be an expedition in Antarctica’.
A 70 year old travelling grandma wanting to explore the extreme arctic continent. She made me think of a Dutch 69 year old man, featured in the April issue of Salt magazine. A die-hard when it comes to extreme travelling. His next adventure was also going to be an arctic expedition, but with a sparkle of extreme: during the arctic winter.
I hope I´ve inspired you to get more out of life than ´this dull society´ offers you, explore nature. Smile about the little things, travel more and travel green.