I've always believed in soulmates. In saying that, I do not think that there is one person in this world for each of us. Rather, I believe that we are able to connect with select people on a level so deep, it cannot be expressed, only felt. These people are few and far between. They fall into a class of their own and can only be defined as the mates of our soul. Mind you, I only ever thought soulmates to be of a romantic nature. This may, in great part be due to the fact that movies and music and the media, in general, have conditioned us to believe that romance is the basis on which souls connect. I now realize that although this can be true, it is not always the case.
Traveling has revolutionized the way I think of soulmates. Without expecting it, I have found my soul's counterpart on my travels; not in one person but in the wide array of characters I have had the honour of meeting over the past year or so. People from all walks of life, from all corners of the world, who despite cultural differences, just click. People who vibrate on the same frequency. People who are drawn in and out of each other's lives by inexplicable forces. People who understand one another in a way that words cannot describe. People who accept each other's flaws and weaknesses, as it is these very features of their character that bring them together. People with one thing in common: they are free.
Most are lone wanderers, having left home in search of something they are not even sure exists. Looking for something more, something bigger, something fulfilling; life in its most passionate and resonant form. They are the ones who could not sit still in class and were always dreaming of far away places and exotic cultures. They are the ones who were mesmerized by maps and thoughts of the world's immensity. They are the ones who envisioned themselves in the depths of rainforests, on the tops of mountains and behind majestic waterfalls. Strangers; all thousands of miles away from the comforts of home, yet somehow, they find each other in foreign lands and create unforgettable moments and unbreakable friendships. It is as though, not having a home forces these new age gypsies to seek refuge in each other.
I blame transience for this unique phenomenon. The nature of a nomadic lifestyle grants you limited time with each person you meet. Somehow, being aware of the scarcity of these moments makes you open up in an entirely different way. It is as though the fleeting nature of our days urges us to bring down our guards and bare our souls to perfect strangers. In doing this, we forge relationships in just a few weeks that are so strong that they are impermeable to the effects of time, distance and external variables. When we finally reunite somewhere in the world, it is as though no time has passed, nothing has changed. Our brief eternity picks right back up where we left off.
These “strangers” get to know you better than you ever thought anyone could know you. They know your deepest secrets and fears and your wildest dreams and ambitions. They stand by you when you fly and never hesitate to catch you when you fall. They take you in with all your flaws and accept them as if it were impossible not to. They do not condemn you for being imperfect, instead they support you on your journey to self-improvement and happiness. They see the good in you, even when it is hidden beneath layers of flawed logic and poor decision-making. They bring out your best, the part you didn't even know existed.
My moments with these nomads have been some of the best of my life. I have laughed, loved, cried, learned, traveled, explored, soared, fallen, broken, but most importantly, lived with these free spirits. They have seen me through some of my darkest times. They have picked up my broken pieces and helped build me back up. Despite how often I crumble, they are incessant in their attempts to put me back together. Every single time. I am truly blessed to have known them and I am better because of it.
These gypsies who have crept into my heart are all completely unique and striking characters. The kind that make an impact on everyone they meet. The kind that will be remembered everywhere they go. The kind that are destined for nothing but greatness. The kind that can entertain you for hours with awe-inspiring stories of their adventures in remote villages around the world. The kind that book a one-way ticket in the drop of a hat and never look back. The kind that are always down for anything you throw at them. The kind that do not fear the unknown but instead welcome new experiences, places and people with open arms. The kind that live and I mean, really live. The kind that are going to take the world by storm.
My soulmate is not one specific person that I fell in love with on a train one day. My soulmates come from all around but are citizens of nowhere. These roaming spirits are each perfectly imperfect. They are more beautiful and inspiring than they will ever know. Each has left his or her mark on my life and I take them with me everywhere I go. They will read this and know exactly who they are. So thank you for coming into my life, for accepting me and the ever-present chaos that surrounds me. But above all, thank you for being exactly who you are; a motherfuckin' legend.
Stay beautiful, my gypsy lovers.The world needs people like you.
Grand Canyon, NV, November 2014.