At Portland, Oregon, I dropped my bags and ran when I saw this girl! Hannah is affectionately known to my sister and I as our American sister. We haven't seen each other in person for 2.5 years, so loud squeals and running through the airport were absolutely called for.
Hannah and I became housemates within 10 minutes of meeting each other. I stumbled over to Newcastle Backpackers, which was across the park from our place - the Clifton Castle - on the insistence of a German man. He told me he thought he had found my housemate. I went over, said ‘come check my place out, bring your suitcase’. Hannah moved in a few minutes later, and so began six months of early morning surf sessions, laughing, crazy dress-ups, travelling and adventuring during some wild and wooly times at the Clifton Castle.
In the years since, life between the two of us, has taken us to five different continents (including one of us living in the middle of the Pacific and one in a remote village in rural Africa). Love, triumpths, losses, good jobs, bad jobs - we have kept each other up-to-date through Messenger writing long letters, in a manner reminiscent of pen pals of the days of old.
Wandering souls know other wandering souls. As Hannah's Mum aka Mama Nancy said to us, 'You Girls! You have adventure inside you. You are not made to stay still and I don't think you would be satisfied with that. One day you might and it could be soon, who knows, but for now you both have the call of the world.'
When you travel for big periods and months on end, you start realising that you leave your heart scattered in many homes and people around the world. So times like this are especially treasured.
Hannah arrived from Germany in the days before me and so we spent the next 10 days taking it easy, exploring, hanging out, catching up with each other and ourselves, road tripping, hiking and chilling out. We also squeezed some Sasquatch Festival in too! (more on that later).
The nicest part was meeting some of Hannah's family, placing many faces to many names of friends I have heard about over the years, and exploring her backyard. As it turns out her backyard is one of the prettiest and most peaceful places on the planet <3