The traveler and the wanderer | Stephanie Chang

Dear wanderer,

Do you remember how we first met? I spotted you at the bus stop, standing very close to the curb and carrying several bags. I asked you a question, which turned into a conversation, and we ended up sitting next to each other on the entire shuttle ride to campus.

A few days later I got a notification from you – you had found me on Facebook to give me more information on the question I had asked. At the very end of the message was an invitation to see you again. I was surprised by your straightforwardness, but even more so elated. I found out that you were an experienced journalist and reporter; possibly one of Europe’s finest young writers. I was extremely curious but also very intimidated by you.

We struggled meeting up as we constantly dealt with miscommunication. I wondered if you had become disinterested. By chance we kept bumping into each other between classes and eventually sorted out plans. We tried our best to keep in contact the following month, online and in-person. I remember so clearly that time we were walking on the road back to your flat. We coined ourselves, the “traveler and the wanderer”. These roles could be interchangeable, you said, depending on where we were. It couldn’t be more perfect.

I cherished the way that you were able to say so much with just a few words. In our relationship, you and I were heard, and we were constantly rooting for one another. We spoke our own language and had our own unique bond, but, sometimes also missed each other completely with our unparalleled sense of humor and cultural background. I had never felt so understood and misinterpreted by someone simultaneously.

You and I were confusing. I came to a point where I didn’t want to feel stuck anymore. I let go, and you did too. At that time your friendship was just what I needed, but not what it was becoming. You encouraged me to write more, and here I am now, contributing to a writer’s collective. I know you would be proud.

You are remarkable, talented, and one-of-a-kind. You helped me get my momentum up and running again, and I hope I was good for you too. I’m sorry, and thankful. Maybe one day I’ll come across you again and find that you’re a renown journalist, and I’ll smile at all the old memories we shared from when our paths briefly aligned across the pond.


The traveler

Get more inside Steph’s head here.

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