I booked the wrong dates of an Airbnb and accidentally skipped one night. I ended up booking a last-minute stay at a homestay between the street of Bali in Ubud.
While at the homestay, I’m walking back from getting some water and I go up to pet a puppy that was sleeping and a nice young man comes out from his room where the puppy was laying. We start chatting and I end up sitting down next to him telling about my mount Ijen experience and my boogie boarding accident that happened a few days prior.
He then tells me he’s been traveling for two years without a phone. Without GPS. With a backpack that holds one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, three shirts, four pairs of underwear, socks, one pair of hiking boots, one pair of sandals, toiletries, a tent, a yoga mat, juggling balls, and art supplies and a guitar.
He works in the circus and has taken a two year break from it. He was on his work holiday visa in Australia and felt like he needed to come to Bali before going home. I’m just about to go to Tasmania, and he had just gotten back a few months ago. He tells me how amazing it is. Shows me the few pictures that he had that a friend had took (no phone, remember). Tells me stories about slipping in waterfalls with his whole backpack on, about camping for free everywhere, about certain beaches I need to visit. About farms (Peace Farm) he stayed at and about stories he had of people picking him up as a hitchhiker. He told me how he doesn’t keep in touch with the people he meets because he has no phone. No WhatsApp. Just freedom.
He told me how he offered a girl to the port one day and how they had GPS on the way there, it was about an hour drive but he had to find his way back to Ubud on his own.
He hitchhiked 6000 km in Australia when people told him he couldn’t do it. He created opportunities for himself. Before traveling he was in the military. He said he would play the guitar in the military and people would say, “What are you, gay?” But while in the circus, and while traveling, if he picks up a guitar people are drawn to him.
The phone thing really got me. The GPS thing really got me. I understand no facebook or no Instagram but… no phone altogether? I asked if he lost it or what started it… he said he threw it away.
We started talking around 5 pm and 3.5 hours later it was dark. I went back to my room mainly because I had to use the restroom from drinking so much water while we chatted.
We talked about sailing and how he hitchhiked not only cars but boats as well. He told me that people can also hitchhike planes-private planes. You just have to know where to hang out. It was all a new concept to me. And I had quite an open mind about it while I listened to his stories.
At the end of the night, we shook hands and parted ways. As much as I want to keep in touch in case I am ever in France, I know our chat wasn’t enough to keep him interested.
He really believed if you are meant to meet again, that you will. And that it happened to him while in Australia – a double meet in a completely different place. Circhotic I think was the name of his circus he’s apart of.
Very interesting soul.
It’s the people I come across that keeps me loving traveling. Even if the interaction is short, we can learn something from everyone by sharing our stories.
Pro Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid to say hello – you never know who you will end up talking to and what information you will gain.