by Niall Doherty

First in Dublin, as I was heading out the door, an old teacher bought me dinner, appearing as he never had before.

I met a man in Durham, also working on a dream. Not long after he took the leap. He’s now in Medellín.

I met a girl in Amsterdam, and I can’t forget her eyes. We laughed and we kissed and we rode our bikes, beneath those clear Dutch skies.

I met an old school chum in Frankfurt, and he hosted me for a spell. We talked of change and adventure, and how to live life well.

I crashed with a couple in Zurich, friends from conscious growth. I wish I’d stayed in touch more since, kind as they were both.

Off the train for a cold day in Vienna, and I gave a CouchSurfer a shout. We had coffee in a house named after Albert, but I forget what we talked about.

I met a man in Hungary, who’d had quite the fascinating quest. Broke just a year before, he’d built himself a fine nest.

I met a girl in Romania, whose secret I promised never to reveal. The story was written and ready to spread, but my conscience kept it sealed.

I met a man in Istanbul, who soaped me up and spun me like a top. He flashed a grin and asked for a tip, when the bath had finally stopped.

I met a man in Isfahan, with a heart as big as the Kavir. Quick to dance and offer a hand, and even shed a tear.

I met a girl near Sharjah, the day after I turned three-oh. I took a leap and won her fair, but finished like a schmo.

I met a man in Delhi, and asked if he liked his job. “I feed my family and work inside, what is there not to love?”

I met a lady in Kathmandu, who sold handbags on the street. She wore me down and I gave her cash, but her days stayed stuck on repeat.

I met a man in Kochi, three nations shy of them all. That historic feat he did achieve, while helping me cross the Bengal.

I met a man in Colombo, a reader of the blog. We walked around and saw a big elephant, chained to a little log.

I met a girl in Bangkok, like none I’d met before. We climbed and explored and fell in deep. Her I still adore.

I met a man in Cambodia, with his belly hanging out. He told me the bus would be there on time, but I was right to doubt.

I met a girl near the Mekong, and she got frisky with her paw. I grew red and backed away, because in Laos it’s against the law.

I met two girls in Hanoi, and they took me around the town. With all the traffic on those mad streets, twas a miracle we weren’t knocked down.

I met a man in Nanning, and he invited me out to feast. We went for the famous hot pot, and I ate the schlong of a beast.

I met a woman in Hong Kong, who taught us how to fight. She showed us a dozen ways to escape a choke, when a couple would have sufficed.

I met a girl in Chongqing, it started sweet but grew absurd. Within twelve hours of meeting, she whispered three little words.

I met a girl in Busan, and she was great company. We met again another time, but we should have let it be.

I met a man in the Pacific, a member of the crew. He’d stop and think for a second, when you asked him “How are you?”

I met a man in Cusco, a schoolboy I’d once known. He’d built a business beautiful, a home away from home.

I met a man in Bolivia, when I was very short of breath. He drove me to the hospital, and I stayed away from death.

I met a girl in Salvador, who fell into my lap. If her father knew what we were doing, I would have felt his wrath.

I traveled with a girl through Venezuela, the best travel buddy you could know. We laughed through the discomfort, of several buses in a row.

I saw a man in Colombia, blind and lame as he sang aloud. I’ll never forget how happy he looked, music lifting him to the clouds.

I met a family in Panama, sailing through paradise. We stopped and swam with fancy fish, and I saw a sunken sight.

I met a man in San Jose, who’d come to learn the talk. He’d previously been in China, where he’d built a nice handwerk.

I met a man in San Juan, fascinated by the brain. “For every thought you think,” he said, “it changes once again.”

I met a girl in Honduras, as we were bussing through. She might have wanted the same as me, but I was too scared to pursue.

I met a man in Antigua, who had his life planned out. “It’s not what you can add,” he said, “but what you can do without.”

I met a girl in Mexico, with colors in her hair. It wasn’t fear that got me that time. I just didn’t really care.

I met two men in New Orleans, and we did ten nights on the trot. Through some of them I felt like a champ, through others I was distraught.

I met a couple in the Atlantic, as I was planning my next step. “We know you from the blog,” they said. “We have also leapt.”

I met a man in Funchal, spending a day off of the ship. A thousand taxis on that rock, so we gave him a nice tip.

I met a man in Barcelona, working on his game. Just when I thought I’d packed it in, I wanted to do the same.

I met a girl in Paris, and she took me to see the sights. Fancy buildings and beautiful landmarks, but it was the company I most liked.

And now I’m on the ferry home, to the road I’ll say so long. Thanks to all I met en route, who made me feel like I belong. And to all who read my words and wished me well, thanks for following along.

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