The wind was as strong as Indonesia’s equatorial sun, the day Mother Nature blew in that tempestuous storm. The darkness threatened overhead, then broke around me. I had no obligation to sail, but in those bitter-sweet final days, time was of the essence. I feared that wild, untamed ocean like a criminal fears a judge. It was a “Sliding Doors” moment: instinct said stay, pride said go. The ocean taunted me, rising angrily against anything in its path. Tears blinded me as I stepped onto the inadequate boat. The sea drew me into its violent clutches, and swept me away.
Two girls board a night bus in Bangkok, expertly and competitively bagging the upper-deck front seats. They’ve sent their men to stow the baggage. The Norwegian girl smiles affably at the English girl, realising they have the same intent: maximum comfort for the long journey ahead. Their bond is instant. The men get along too, but that’s immaterial. Twelve hours seems like two. A month of shared experiences follows, then flights between their respective countries. Wedding vows are witnessed, babies are born, families are entwined. Throughout it all the girls’ bond remains strong. This is travel friendship at its best.