I remember the precious friends we made along the way when we travelled to Malawi through Southern Africa. I loved meeting camping friends because of all the different walks of life and the stories we shared. It was such a joy to bump into the same people at different camping sites and compare notes and learn from each other. We learnt things from roasting peanuts in a pot over the fire and baking bread, to finding out which routes were currently best and which to avoid. Sharing around the fire possibly saved us a trauma in one instance. We had decided to travel back to South Africa through Mozambique but then the day before we were to leave we learnt via fellow travellers that, although it had been safe up till then, it was now a dangerous area and, because of political unrest, tourists had been shot the day before. With this caution we decided to travel back via Zimbabwe and take the ferry over Lake Kariba where we again bumped into other fellow travellers. The comradery that happens amongst fellow travellers is something that I feel is missing from our daily lives, especially when we tend to live insular lives. None of us know it all and we can all benefit from one another.
As we all walk the road of life we find our way through the twists, turns, highs and lows. We walk along side each other and no-one is above another on this journey. Together we can make it. We each have our own set of tests and trials to face as we learn life’s lessons along the way. The wisdom we naturally learn from our circumstances are like jewels and are part of the resources we share with each other for support and encouragement along the way. We all need each other.
There was one time after travelling for 25 days when I just wanted to go back home because I had become discouraged but I had heard so much from other travellers and it was my curiosity of wanting to see Lake Malawi that kept me going. Just so life’s journey might sometimes be tedious and we might feel discouraged but I think if we keep on being curious, our questions can guide us to finding our way through the ‘wood’ – one tree at a time. We are less likely to give up if we know we share the journey with fellow travellers.
The journey is as important as the destination. We are here to help each other; together we can make it through the tough times and celebrate the victorious. What did I learn from that part of the journey? I learnt that I was made of tougher stuff than what I had previously believed: I had courage, tenacity and a community of travelling friends. The destination was the reward, but the journey had prepared me for the destination.