Lingering Paranoia and Meeting Another Solo Traveler

This entry is part 22 of 34 in the series Latin America Series
10-07-2010 – Guanajuato, Mexico

As I wander the streets of Guanajuato, Mexico I stop at the bakery shops that litter the city. For the majority of the day I would walk around with my hat on. At times for utility, but mostly for the sake of obscurity. I don’t like attention and my pale skin, ginger hair and beard tend to attrach a lot. It becomes uncomfortable for me after a while so eventually I let my colors show. Let the people see me. A tourist, a gringo…a mark. My paranoia was still lingering. My self consciousness still brewing. This all would pass eventually. Simple exposure therapy (wiki).

I was wandering around and happened to see the same girl who caught my eye hours before. She was a solo traveler like me. I could tell by the way she was walking earlier. The pace not brisk nor sluggish. Just taking the ambience in of the city, but not lingering on any one sight, sound or smell for want of the next.

I’m always intrieged by other solo travelers, especially women, in just a Platonic way…unless certain characteristics are present :) She was a fellow pale person, who perhaps spoke English. I hadn’t had a coherent conversation in days. I sat down from a bench near her, then I mustered up the strength to approach her and ask if I could sit down on her bench. She insisted with a smile. I said, “I’m sorry my Spanish sucks, do you speak Enlish”. She laughed and confirmed my hope. She was British, traveling throughout Central and South America by bus. We swapped war stories from the road. She was given some advice from some friends regarding counterfeit Columbian cops. If their boots are rubber, they’re guirella’s, but if they are leather then they are legit. The advice was hardly helpful given that if you have the opportunity to detect their boot material, it’s probably not the right moment for an escape.


I was leaving the next day and Hanna and I agreed to meet for breakfest before I shoved off.

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  • Twitch

    Meeting strangers, especially other travelers, on the road is one of the most enjoyable things I can think of. Sure, you’re getting to see the world in a way that most people will never do, but sometimes it’s good to share it with someone, even if you prefer the solitude of doing it solo, it’s always nice to break the silence of your own experience.

  • bgorman

    And to this post I say… Hanna sometimes these things do work out. Sometimes these things do work out because two people love each other. They choose each other and against all odds, manage to make it work. I am sorry Hanna had to meet you on this day, but I am glad that she offered some comfort in a foreign land.

  • shooby

    she’s a little hottie! good for you, B!

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