It’s always nice to meet up with someone familiar when travelling. While I like to go to places on my own, or join organised tours and meet new people, I always enjoy meeting up with family or friends abroad where I can. Sometimes I meet people by chance – I was in Bangkok for one night and it just happened that an Australian friend of mine, James (who I had met on a trip to Morocco), was also there for one night and we managed to meet up for a few drinks before we parted ways, me going to Cambodia and him to Oz!
Sometimes I meet people by design, and in Kathmandu I hope to meet up with an ex-work colleague Federico, whose influence, in part, gave me the belief that I could do this trip in the first place. I’m not sure of the exact story, but in a nutshell he got talking to someone who was working on a project to help the Nepalese people rebuild after the earthquake. It appeared that they needed someone with his skills on their team so he handed in his notice, packed his bags and has now been working in Nepal for over a year now! We have stayed in touch, and I hope to catch up with him in person to hear all about the project and how he is enjoying life doing something different.
Now that I had settled on Nepal for the first month and was planning my activities in Nicaragua and Ecuador, I still needed to fill up just over a month. I have two cousins living in Singapore, Mark and Maria, and it had been ages since I had seen them. Back in 2012 I had arranged to stay with Mark for two nights in Ho Chi Minh City as he was working there at the time. However on my arrival he had to rush off to a meeting up the coast, so I ended up staying in his apartment for a couple of nights – minus him! Mark did arrive back the afternoon of my departure and we had a lovely meal and a few too many double vodkas (I was under the impression they were singles!) before I had to dash to the airport, arriving just as they were shutting check-in …
My next task would be to contact my cousins and see if they would be home at the end of April, and think about where I would go from there.