So where have Steel and I been for about 10 days? Well sometimes crazy things happen when an adventurous sort meets up with another one. For the sake of animinity, I’ll call my “love” interest Joe. I was turned on to Joe for all the right reasons. He liked my project and I liked all of his. I respected and still do how he operates in the world. He’s got great ideas and executes on them, and facilitates others. He’s a connector and a facilitator and he became a supporter of me and my projects. For all this I am thankful, even if we ultimately go our separate ways.
Long story short…Steel and I met Joe during our travels in the US. We kept in touch. Steel and I headed off to Europe. Joe had always wanted to travel to Europe especially since taking up paragliding. He basically asked if I might like to come together and indulge in a “vacation” with him. I did not necessarily jump at the opportunity. What is an opportunity? With limited resources and lots of work to get done, now would not be the time for a “vacation” for me -(i.e. a distraction that takes away of the potential amount of time I can stay in Europe (given the 3 month visa limitation) and potentially sets me back financially. However, we connected in a rather special way and I sincerely thought this might be someone I could come together with in the future. That part of my life if very open at the moment. Also, Joe was pretty clear that he would be covering our expenses so as not to be a monetary burden. I explained that Steel takes a lot of grease, but he felt he could handle it.
Our deal was that I stay focused on what I was doing and if he could find some sort of flight in a reasonable price range near me, he would come….and the next thing you know, a week later he’s flying into Paris, and Steel and I hopped a train to meet him.
I shalt not bore you with all the gory details, but let’s just say we had great times and not so great times. Traveling really is a great “test” of relationships. You find out a lot about a person and how they handle things and function by doing so. Joe and I do not travel well together. No blame shall be assessed, we just operate differently and those differences made for some very challenging times.
After a couple of days in Paris, we headed southeast and ended up spending the bulk of our time together in the French Alps. Considering the French Alps and in particular a town called Annecy were not on my radar, it was cool to experience some place I might never have gone otherwise. Lake Annecy is a world renown paragliding mecca. Mecca indeed! Even in off-season it was teaming with pilots. Joe was kind enough to facilitate a tandem paraglide ride for me which was absolutely amazing -definitely ranking on one of the coolest activities I’ve ever experienced. I felt like a bird soaring above the majestic alps and green-blue waters of Lake Annecy…definitely a sport I would consider taking up in the future.
After 10 days, Joe dropped me off in Basel, Switzerland, which is where Steel and I were heading before we met up. It is the town where some of my family is from on my mom’s side and I am looking forward to exploring my roots. Joe departed and with him went the dreamy future thoughts. However, I am thankful for the opportunity to allow reality to meet fantasy. As with any two people coming together, it takes some time and different circumstances to arise to get to know one another. We may not be building a future together, but hopefully we launched a friendship. Regardless of not being amazing travel companions, I appreciate that there is a Joe in the world, someone who cares about the world around him and puts actions to his beliefs. I’m a fan if not life partner.