A few weeks ago I wrote about my experience with St. Pierre et Miquelon, the isolated French islands off the coast of Newfoundland.
I wrote about how a kind lady named Madame Luberry took us students in, treated us like family, fed us, and introduced us to French culture.
A French website picked up my blog post, and the hits I received were insane. And then I received this comment:
“Hi, I am glad you enjoy your visit on the islands. I was born there and now live in Canada. Just wanted to let you know that Madame Luberry (my aunt and god mother) past away in Paris last summer. I was at her funeral in Saint-Pierre this summer and I agree with you; she was a wonderful and extraordinary woman. I am so happy that I got the chance to see her the summer before in Saint-Pierre. She was already an angel on earth!”
My heart fell so hard when I read that comment; I emailed the niece to express my condolences personally, almost a year after it happened. A genuine sense of loss.
Life is weird. Eight years after my visit to the islands, with this lingering sense of nostalgia and longing, I’ve reconnected with the place in a different way. A stranger out there in Internet-land stumbled upon my blog, and realized I was talking about their loved one. I’m blown away by how the world is getting smaller.
Then I read Julie’s post questioning what would happen if the Internet crashed today. Our relationships with people are entirely different. Would we put so much effort into communication without the ease of e-mail and Instant Messaging?
Which got me thinking about the other people I’ve met along the way. The cute, brown-eyed French guy, the handsome American who bought me a smoothie on my birthday in London, the married couple living in Germany (whom, according to my Facebook, are no longer married). Do they remember me?
Do we connect with people differently because we’re on the road? If we weren’t travellers, would we simply pass each other by?
Who has changed your travel life?