There was no reason to visit San Francisco so soon again. That itch was scratched on a Californian road trip just eleven months prior. The encouraging palms of fate had other ideas though, gently pushing me in the direction of a cheap flight from Athens. This was the last leg of a worldwide journey. You know the trip. You’ve turned thirty and quit your job, a cross-road camouflaged as a crisis. I was opening my heart to fresh experiences and new people. I also wanted to discover what on earth to do with my life!
Jen had no reason to ride the cable car this day. An L.A native that used to live in San Francisco, she was visiting to compete in the city’s famed marathon. Tourist attractions had grown old to her.
On what would become a special day, I rose from my hostel bed dusty and hungover. The Full House site visit was quickly dismissed. How did John Stamos begin drumming with the Beach Boys anyway? Instead I wandered over to a fondly familiar part of town, Pier 39. The calming sea and lively markets provided an enjoyable contrast. Still slightly dazed, I strolled passed juggling buskers, clam chowder stalls, the homeless, Hooters and a veteran street performer strumming through Stairway to Heaven. A surreal combination ending at the steps of a cable car. On board and roller coasting through the streets, I peeked across the loaded carriage to find a seat.
And there she was.
Drenched in sun light with pop-star shades and blonde locks flowing, my day dreaming had just been whip-lashed. Is she alone? Who’s the dude? My questions answered instantaneously as her seated neighbour was off at the next stop. With pretty now playing puppeteer, I opportunistically scurried my way over to talk. The cable car in fronts temporary break down presenting a timely ice-breaker. My jokes seem to work ok. Pink lip gloss gave way to pearly whites as laughter and conversation came with ease. Spontaneously we decided to get off at the next stop to continue spending time together.
That was the birth of a special and unique friendship.
Making the move when the moment presented itself took courage, but has resulted in so much.
What I am most grateful for came when I was in story telling mode, rambling about my global adventures during lunch. Curious as to what was behind Jen’s knowing smirk, I decided to take a breath and quiz what was on her mind.
She simply asked...” Have you ever thought of becoming a Travel Writer”?
And that’s why as an adult, it’s ok to talk to strangers.