With a head half-shaved, a bit of color, three dreadlocks hanging from behind and a braid somewhere in between – Zenia’s haircut seemed as adventurous and fluid as she was. Travelling through Madrid alone only for two days – it took us very little time before we asked her to join us to a concert and into the night with my friends.
What meeting Zenia made me reflect on, is that while travelling, we often forget that somewhere in the world, we are also “locals” to others. So as we all try hard when travelling to mix with locals or at least encounter friends – I wondered in turn: “If I am the local, what makes me open my home to travellers?” And the answers lied somewhere in her quote; I once read that finding friends is like finding the same type of lunatics around. What Zenia shared was her willingness to say yes, no judgement in her eyes, and genuine curiosity for the people she encountered. But most of all, she had an edge. The kind of edge that makes you want to learn more about her, and in return offer a piece of the life you live. Because that is after all the best “local” experience you can give.
My only advice would be then, to be that kind of “lunatic” when you’re on the road – act as freely, curiously, peacefully and non-judgemental as possible – because that aura is bound to make you encounter the friends you want and finally, the kind of experience you’re looking for.