Around the World: Who Are You?!

by Brenna Holeman
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).
Olympos, Turkey
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.


Berlin, Germany
Only known information: The girls were from California, and the guy was from Lithuania. Also, I used to have really short dark hair.


Pai, Thailand
Only known information: They were from a Scandinavian country, I’m sure of it. I have about thirty photos with them. 


Zurich, Switzerland
Only known information: The woman is from Germany, I had a dinner of fondue with her. I have no recollection of the men.


Varna, Bulgaria
Only known information: The two blondes are from England. They were very sweet.


Pai, Thailand
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.


Medellin, Colombia
Only known information: The guy is from Ireland, the girl is from Colombia. We danced a lot.


Venice, Italy
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).
Olympos, Turkey
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.


Mancora, Peru
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.


Brussels, Belgium
Only known information: I’m fairly certain he was from America. 


Bangkok, Thailand
Only known information: He was from America, and we had a blast that night on Khao San Road.


Riga, Latvia
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? 
*Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!*
*If you know any of these people, or if you recognize yourself, get in touch!

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Antastesia. March 29, 2013 - 8:36 pm

That was a really fun and nice post!
For some reason I love looking at other people’s pictures! I actually have a few pictures of people I know very few about, but for the most either I made friends with them and so have them on facebook, or just didn’t have any chance to either take a picture or ask for their names which is a shame.
When I was in Prague last december with my sister, I met a really sweet malay guy, who lived in england. We talked for around an hour and thought we would meeet again in the hostel, but we unfortunately did not and I’ve never found him again online. Which I’m actually quite sad about!
Sometimes I just feel too shy to ask people for a picture or contact infos, but it’s a shame really… i guess I need to work on that!
This post is a kind of reminder of that!
Thank you !:)

This Battered Suitcase March 30, 2013 - 1:15 am

Thank you! I’ve actually regretted not getting a lot of people’s contact info – sometimes it just doesn’t work out. In fact, that happened with one of my now-closest friends, Mark. We met in Peru, but he wasn’t around when I had to leave for my bus. Thankfully we bumped into each other in Bolivia and were able to exchange information then! We later travelled through Argentina and Uruguay together, and now I’ll go stay with him in London. The universe does funny things sometimes…maybe you’ll run into that man again one day!

Antastesia. April 2, 2013 - 9:39 pm

Maybe! It would be really amazing!
Wow then you’re lucky to have met again, it must be fate! 🙂

Also, I know you’re not really a vlogger, and at first this could seem totally irrelevant, but I make videos on YT and I tagged you in my last one!

I would completely understand if you didn’t want to do it or didn’t have time! 🙂 But I think it would be really interesting to see some of your favourite and most funny pieces, since you’ve been to so many places and buy many ‘local’ and authentic things! 🙂
In short I’d love to see your take on it, but would totally understand if you didn’t do it 🙂

This Battered Suitcase April 2, 2013 - 10:02 pm

That video is the best! I definitely don’t consider myself a vlogger but I might just have to give it a try…thank you for the tag! xx

Lauren Roerick Miller March 30, 2013 - 12:50 pm

I’m really terrible with names, so I totally get you on that one. I have a bunch of these kinds of photos, from really fun nights, but really know nothing about the people I was with. It’s fun to simply hang out with people, have a good time and make a memory without having to keep in touch later. That’s just the way travel is sometimes and I think that’s just fine.

This Battered Suitcase March 30, 2013 - 4:48 pm

Amen! I totally agree. I keep in touch with quite a few people (as I said, almost all of my closest friends were made while travelling) but there are literally thousands of people I’ve met and never spoken to/seen again. I think that’s just fine, too.

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures March 30, 2013 - 5:44 pm

I’m dying for someone in the comments to say oh my god that’s my good friend so and so!

This Battered Suitcase March 30, 2013 - 5:46 pm

Me too!!

Christine April 2, 2013 - 2:40 am

You always have the most amazing time and surrounded by great people! I don’t usually keep in touch with the people I meet..sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

P.S I nominated you for a Liebster award! Here is the link

This Battered Suitcase April 2, 2013 - 4:47 am

Thank you! I’ve been very blessed to have met some amazing people throughout my travels…

And thanks for the nomination!

danielle April 3, 2013 - 5:17 am

I was smiling the whole time I was going through this blog post :)) Really hilarious! Hope I could get to drink or just hang out with you somewhere around the world soon! :p

This Battered Suitcase April 3, 2013 - 7:10 am

Aw, thanks Danielle! Maybe we’ll run into each other somewhere in this world…

Sholto Ramsay August 17, 2013 - 12:58 am

Jeeeeez why can’t get out and about like you. Dammit

Glamourous Traveller November 30, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Omg this was a hilarious post!! hahahah Well, even though you couldn’t remember their names, I am very amazed you remembered (mostly) where they were from!

Brenna Holeman December 1, 2014 - 3:34 pm

I had a lot of fun putting it together!

When I Don't Feel Like Being a Solo Traveller - This Battered Suitcase August 9, 2015 - 8:58 pm

[…] or somewhere quite isolated. In fact, I’ve often met too many people… so many I often forget their names or where they’re from. If you really want to travel and you don’t have anyone to go with, go anyway. […]

Louise Terranova March 14, 2016 - 12:10 am

Hi Brenna,

This post is a fabulous. Really fabulous. I just love the idea, the sentiment behind it and most of all I love the photos. I have two daughters in their twenties and it reminds me of their photos ; I was sure I would scroll onto one of you and on of them in South East Asia somewhere having a good time together.

But I can also relate from thirty years ago when I travelled. Meeting people and having a good time for a day, a night. a few days or some weeks. And then they are gone. Some you remain in contact with for a while, some for years and then you loose contact. Facebook changes all of that now. But you can meet someone for just a few days, think you might be in love, take a punt and go for it. This is my husband and my story, not in my blog but it probably will get there eventually.

I found your blog this morning over breakfast and my bottomless cup of tea, here in Melbourne. It is linked to someone’s post in the discover section on WordPress. i also read the post about your least favourite travel quotation/ quote ( that was a new one for me which I will check out) and I think you are spot on. I worked in a disadvantaged community for many years and it really resonated on that level and many more. Good work.

Love the way you have formatted your blog, the start here tab and then the way you have pulled that page together which is how I found this post. I have so much to do with my blog but am loving the journey and the challenge. My blog is about trekking to Everest Base Camp as woman in her fifties but it is about the whole journey, the training as well. Am a bit confused as to whether you have or haven’t been to Nepal I haven’t looked properly yet, did a quick skim around and am looking forward to reading more of your posts over some teas and wines.

As they used to say in the 70s Keep on truckin’, Louise

Brenna Holeman March 15, 2016 - 11:26 am

Thank you so much for all of your kind words, Louise! You are too kind. I’m really glad that you’re enjoying the blog so far… I hope you continue to read along!


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