Posted by: GeekHiker | February 18, 2012

Cautious Expectations

Strange, it is, trying to blog now, after the road trip is done and while I’m still traveling.  To a degree, I think its like trying to start a novel in the middle and trying to figure out how to catch up the readers on the hero’s journey, when the hero’s journey is halfway through.  Kinda like trying to tell Luke Skywalker’s story by starting in the middle of the trash compactor scene.

But, well, here we go anyway.

It’s funny, I’m finding, how hesitant I am to have confidence in situations; whether they will last, whether they can occur again. I don’t know if it’s a sense of doubt that comes from life experience, or simply that I try to lower my own expectations in order to avoid disappointment.

To wit: my first couple of days on Hawai’i.

I’ve been rather unexpectedly lucky in my time here so far.  I arrived at the hostel only a couple of days ago, not having any plan whatsoever. The morning following my arrival, I started talking to a couple of girls, one from the U.S. and the other from Germany, about their plans for the day.  The former has been on the island for a while, and knows the best happy hours and such, whereas the latter had rented a car and was looking for company touring the island. So the three of us connected and have spent the past few days exploring the island together.

Given that I’d arrived on a holiday weekend, I had pretty much given up on renting a car, had no idea how I would get to Volcanoes National Park or anywhere else, and was worried I’d be stuck in town.  Instead, I’ve had the company of two new friends, an offer of a couch to sleep on in Bremen, Germany, and have managed not only to go to Volcanoes, but to actually circumnavigate the entire island by car.  In the process, I’ve gone hiking, drank some wonderful beers, managed to get to the southernmost point in the United States, and made a couple of new friends.

I’m new to this. The road trip, for all its up and downs, was a relatively solo afair; one just doesn’t meet that many people when traveling by car (the noteable exception, of course, being the extended stops in certain cities and those wonderful readers who I met with on the way).  So I don’t know if this type of thing, meeting up with other travelers, is necessarily a normal and common experience.  The girls told me tales of being at other hostels here in Hawai’i where they managed to meet no one to travel and explore with, even when having a car to tool around in.  Maybe I’ve just been abnormally lucky in my first stop?

Far be it for me, though, to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth and claim he has bad breath.  So my old habit kicks in, for better or for worse: I find myself hoping that this bit of kismet will continue as I travel along, but stuck with cautious doubt that maybe my luck at the first stop is a fluke and nothing more.

Whether that’s optimism, pessimism, or simply realism, I have no idea.



  1. I have found that this meeting up while travelling is the norm, not the exception if only you are open to it. For a long while, I had the philosophy that “people are just friendlier when in Europe”. But I actually think its the travelling thing, not the continent.

    Wanderers like other wanderers and its nice to have that short, intense friendship where you share so much in so little time….and then maybe never see that person again.

    Excellent Star Wars reference, by the way! You need to justify the “Geek” title every now and then.

  2. You will find what you need if you leave yourself open to the people around you … which is what you appear to be doing. Keep living, my friend.

  3. Manifest it! Believe that it can continue and I bet it will.

    By the way, I think these kinds of friendships happen all the time at hostels in Europe. And that couch in Germany – you should totally go for it. Germany is awesome. The people are so nice there!

  4. Wow! I’m envious! An adventure AND new friends!

  5. My brother is forever landing in new countries and towns, and two hours later having a new handful of life-long friends. It think it’s all abut attitude 🙂

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