Travelling by myself has never bothered me, you get used to meeting new people for a day or two before they move on and you become accustomed to the ongoing traffic that comes into your life. But… occasionally you’ll see some faces again in another city/country and it becomes harder to accept your choice to travel solo.
For me, an important encounter on my travels was Team Aus in Frankfurt, Germany. Now, most of you will remember my bag getting knifed in the hostel but I never got a chance to reveal the full extent of what happened in Frankfurt as it’s possibly the most bizarre place I've ever visited. However, Team Aus and I met some awesome people along with a few of the strangest human beings on the planet here and maybe one day I will write the extended version of what happened, but for now, this post is for Team Aus (and to be honest the stories from Frankfurt are so far-fetched you’ll think that they’re completely fabricated-But I/we can assure you that they are 100% true.)
Team Aus was initially made up of seven people when we first met in Frankfurt: three solo travellers and four friends who were travelling together. This post is dedicated to the four friends who were initially just some cool people that I had met and hung out with, but as time progressed (short by normal standards but lengthy when you’re travelling) and our strange and traumatic experiences further developed, I started to feel as though I had known them forever, they became my friends (and safety net.) We would hang out, have dinner together and chat whilst a few would play the guitar. It truly was lovely.
However, a couple of days later Team Aus had to depart, and having to say goodbye was truly upsetting even though inside it didn’t really feel like goodbye at all. For some reason I felt as though I would be seeing them again, I just wasn’t sure when and where it would be.
Over the next month, we kept in touch and I would see their posts on Facebook and it was comforting to know that they were only a few hours away somewhere in Europe, and despite missing their company travelling solo became normality again.
Nevertheless, a month later we all ended up meeting each other again in Budapest, Hungary. I can’t really describe how it feels to see people you have met travelling previously in another city, but it’s like seeing family after a long time; you’re genuinely thrilled to see them.
Over the next five days catching up with them felt like we hadn’t been apart at all and everything fell back into place; exploring the city, reminiscing about Frankfurt- it’s a hard place to forget!, hanging out, having dinner together, playing cards and of course the guitars were back out and it was during this time that I actually realised how rare it was to meet people like them.
Four individuals who were so different but who gelled together so well. Four people who were so friendly and welcoming to everybody. Four people that were equally genuine, kind and trustworthy, who had somehow gone from being my “kids” to… my four big but younger brothers. Four people who looked out for me, entertained me with their hilarity and awesome personalities. And four people who I will miss dearly.
Saying goodbye to Team Aus in Budapest was the second most emotionally draining thing to happen whilst travelling (The first being the bag situation in Frankfurt) and it wasn’t because I’d never see them again… I know that I will. But it’s because they will have finished their travels and will be back in Australia soon and running into my brothers again will be impossible for at least another year.
So, for now I must say thank you to them all and no I did not cry on my walk home from the metro station or walk around Budapest in a depressed state the following day… she lies.
But I’ll definitely see you again down under!