Good day,

Having friends is an incredible feeling isn’t it? Who would we be without friends? Have you ever met someone genuinely happy and settled in life without a few good friends? When you travel, you open yourself up to meeting cool people from around the world and if you go long enough, you may just have crews of friends all over the world. This is one of the nicest byproducts of extensive world travel, feeling like you’re “back in the area” all over the world.

The secret to growing as a person through travel is making friends and learning…

Before I left on this trip I had a large crew of friends in Vancouver, Canada. Besides that I mainly had my friends that I grew up with. All that has changed, I assure you. Many people go couchsurfing so they can get a local experience OR because they are just straight up cheap or on a budget, let’s get real we’d all rather stay in a cool hotel then sleep on some guys moldy couch and act interested in stories when all most want is a shower and a good sleep.

If you travel a lot and have a pleasant personality with a socially acceptable demeanor, chances are you’ll meet people who are like you are. You’ll keep in touch with those guys from Finland you went to the Full Moon Party with, you’ll remember the guy from Montreal who you showed up on Koh Tao with and went on a crazy journey to secure accommodation and whatever else you wanted. Our friend are our friends because we met, we did something together, we bonded and got along, it’s that simple. When you meet someone you trust on the road, you grow fast and you bond because you have to trust each other.

Not long after you’ll find that if you’re a good friend, you’ll have lots and you’ll know people around the world. I assure you visiting a city and exploring it is fun, but seeing it through the eyes of a local that you’re already friend with who is somewhat similar to you is by far the best. I’m not a fan of couchsurfing, showing up at someone’s house to sleep for free would make me feel like a freeloader. Also, everyone says it’s free but I couldn’t stay somewhere and not buy dinner or drinks, etc… It’s simply not how I was raised and as a result, I always opt for my own place unless I stay at a friends…

Anyways, I’m writing this because I’m building bases around the world and it’s one of the sweetest sensations I’ve ever had. Rolling into an area outside of Boston, your cousin is busy so you call a friend you met through him last time and now you’re playing a round of golf!? You roll into Managua and a friend invites you to their compound and fills you in on the scene before you hit it with them. Meeting some friends from Thailand in Helsinki and going to cottage country for a week with nothing but sun, saunas and suds… Going to Tanzania and enjoying a wedding before hanging out in cashew tree forts, heading to Victoria and driving to Tofino with an old friend… IT NEVER STOPS!

Stop focusing on just taking the 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,323 photo of the Eiffel Tower, focus on making connections and better understanding the world you are part of. Get to know the local people but the REAL local people, not just the randoms who only hang out / make their living off tourists. Those people are not the “real deal” and they aren’t real but plastic locals if you ask me. It’s the person you meet through someone off the trail who will give you the secrets to the scene in the city if you have a connection and form a friendship.

You need these secrets as ignorance is NOT bliss, unless you’re ignorant which most aren’t…

What I’m getting at is “coming home” is great but what is even better is when you have countless places around the world that start to feel familiar and almost like home in some way. You won’t get there with your photo but you’ll get there with your personality and that is where the memories and friendships that last a lifetime are born.

The top photo was take in the Corn Islands. There was crazy weather and most of us had to do bank runs, we were fresh out of cash for the most part (not me but most) and this whole crew got together to find everything free on the island and we made a monster feast. Friends make the world go round my friends & remember that money & relationships come and go but good friends are forever…

Tips hat,

P.S: Had I just been taking photos but not making friends, this trip would have ended long ago…

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