Here are the only rules: with the exception of one other person (in these cases, either my friends Kerri or Ella), I must not know who the person/people in the photos are. I must not have any contact information for them, and perhaps I don’t even remember their names or where they are from.*
Trust me, I have a lot of these photos. A lot.
Koh Phangan, Thailand
Only known information: They were from Ireland, and they were crazy. Bucket-loads of fun (pun very much intended).
Only known information: He was German, and very drunk. He kept buying us these white drinks called raki and I kept dumping them out.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Only known information: They were surfers from Florida, and hilarious.
Only known information: The girls were from California, and the guy was from Lithuania. Also, I used to have really short dark hair.
Only known information: They were from a Scandinavian country, I’m sure of it. I have about thirty photos with them.
Only known information: The woman is from Germany, I had a dinner of fondue with her. I have no recollection of the men.
Only known information: The two blondes are from England. They were very sweet.
Only known information: He killed a dangerous snake outside our bungalow the night before, which is why we took a photo with him. I wish I knew more, because he’s pretty foxy.
Only known information: The guy is from Ireland, the girl is from Colombia. We danced a lot.
Only known information: All of the guys are from America, I believe. The girl is from Georgia (I distinctly remember this, because it took a while for the guys to realize she was talking about the country and not the state).
Only known information: The girls are from Australia. They were painting their nails with black nail polish as we sat under the orange trees. They were very nice.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Only known information: I’m cheating here, because I actually know both girls in this photo. The guys, though? I think some were Swiss, some were French? Not sure, but they tried pretty hard to pick us up that night. Tried and failed.
Only known information: They were from Chile. Also, I go cross-eyed when I drink too many pisco sours.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Only known information: He was Australian, and staying in my dorm room. Also, I’m really bad at aiming the camera when I am drinking, as Mark was completely cut out of this photo.
Only known information: I’m fairly certain he was from America.
Only known information: He was from America, and we had a blast that night on Khao San Road.
Only known information: They were on a stag weekend from England, and I was caught in the cross-fire.
As I said, I have so many photos like this from around the world. I realize that they a) make me look like a forgetful alcoholic and b) make my resolve to keep my mouth closed in photos all the more fierce, but the truth is, I meet new people every day when I’m backpacking, and it’s sometimes impossible to keep track of them all. With Facebook, I have managed to keep in touch with a lot more people than I used to (I didn’t have Facebook when I travelled through Europe in 2006 and 2007, so I’ve lost contact with most of the people I met there during those times), and I’ve made some of my best friends while I was on the road. I think that these photos prove something really great about travelling though – they prove that people from different countries can come together and have fun, can laugh and dance and share stories, and then can just say goodbye. We don’t always have to stay in touch with every single person we talk to or share a drink with. Sometimes it’s nice to truly be a ship passing in the night.
Do you have a lot of photos likes these? Do you exchange contact information with every person you meet in your travels?
*If you know any of these people, or if you recognize yourself, get in touch!