Today I had lunch with a friend. We are two very different people and have two very different ways of looking at the world. She is a liberal Democrat and I'm a conservative Republican and neither one of us is going to change. But I am proud to call Kathryn my friend.
Kathryn is a remarkable woman. I first heard of her when she hiked the Appalachian Trail, end-to-end almost ten years ago. I followed her adventure as she hiked. It has long been my dream to hike the AT end-to-end. But life circumstances and obligations kept me from it.
The AT was just a stepping stone for Kathryn. Geez, let me see if I can remember all her trips! She hiked in Nepal. She bought a three wheel bike and named it Blaze. She spent months biking in Ireland and other European countries, often sleeping in her tent just yards from a road. Next up, last fall, she and Blaze flew to Singapore and for the next 7 months, she rode through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand before flying to New Zealand. The large portion of these trips, she was alone, although at times, others joined her. She was a source of curiosity to those whose paths she crossed. People would approach her and say, "I want to talk to you. What's your story?" A NZ police department featured her in a documentary of people they meet during their day to day job.
When she arrived in New Zealand, her plan was to stay three months. She liked the people and the country so much that she got her visa extended another three months.
Many days I have come home after a stressful day at work, dealing with egos and office politics, and find another edition of Kathryn's blog in my inbox. How I envied her sense of wunderlust and adventure.
"Why do you do this?" I asked her today over lunch at Alladin's at Schoen Place along the canal path. "What is your motivation?"
Her eyes lit up with joy as she said, "I want to see what is around the next bend in the road." Kathryn is an engaging personality that makes friends wherever she goes. She knows no boundaries and generally has no fears. Isn't it amazing to sit across the table from a person who has so many adventures to relate?
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