I travel alone most of the time. It’s a mix between taking time for myself and not having anyone to join me for any trip I am planning.
This does not mean I lack adventures and interesting characters to find along the way. Most of the time it’s someone at a bar, another lost traveler in the train station, a helping hand along the way. I have yet to have a bad encounter while travelling alone.
On one of these occasions I came across a man that screamed RONALDO in the second he figured I am Portuguese. It makes anyone laugh, and if you know how much I don’t care about soccer, it just turns out to be funnier.
That day the plan was simple, walk around the streets and take a few photos. Nothing else. He grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go, and was able to keep me trapped without sounding too pushy. He was so polite that he could have been raised by the royal family.
We talked about struggles and riches, he said he wanted me to be rich one day and I said that I was looking for something more precious than money. It would have been the perfect friend to talk about how I lost myself and was trying to find my way back.
Taller than me, which isn’t hard, he goes on to tell me that he was selling poems. We talk for five or ten minutes that felt richer than one full hour and after I leave him two euros to take a poem with me, he yells back.
"Good Luck Friend, I hope one day you will be rich, a millionaire!"
Struck by this and in a good mood, my reply was a heartfelt laugh. Only when I got home did I take the time to look at the poem I bought. It made so much sense for the trip I was in that it now stands honorably in my house, together with souvenirs that in some way have touched my heart.
translation by Miguel Nogueira
A long path
The long path I see ahead of me threatens suffering in each corner.
My needs are my own; I hope that, by calling my friends, its company may comfort me.
But I don’t want anything that takes my heart off the long path.
And why would I try to cover it up; I won’t look back.
I took that lonely path to uphold my sweet hopes.
This makes one ask itself why one travels; when there’s noting to lose.
The winter winds blow glacially and the path is dark and grey.
It’s a long path.