Strangers in San Sebastian


As we neared our destination of San Sebastian the sky began to open up on us. Again. Rain drops splattered against our sunglasses and we were forced to pull over and dig through our panniers for our rain gear. With no idea of where we were going to stay, or where the nearest campsite was, we opted for finding a beer somewhere that would temporarily shield us from the rain.

Rain or shine, views like this make riding bikes across countries something very special.

Yes we found a beer, and a place to stay for the night, but more importantly we met a new friend. As we sipped on our beers we began talking to a man named Daniel, a South African pig farmer, who had overheard us talking about our trip and was very curious. We soon came to find out that he has a son that lives in Aliso Viejo, and that we was in “San Seb” looking to buy his retirement home. He told us that we reminded him allot of himself at the same age growing up in South Africa: young, ambitious, and stoked on life. We found ourselves in deep conversation with this complete stranger. Daniel told us that he was supposed to fly out that day, but thanks to a strike with the airline, he was stuck in the city until the following Friday. We embraced the opportunity and asked if he would like to join us for dinner that evening. It was fate.

Nothing better than meeting a complete stranger, enjoying some nice wine, and learning life lessons. A portrait of Daniel, our new South African pig farmer friend.

When we met up for dinner the conversation immediately picked up where we left off earlier. Talking about life, and business, and finding what makes you happy and pursuing it with everything you got. This pig farmer form South Africa had quickly become one of the most influential people I have ever met. As we sipped on nice wine and no joke the best ham in the world, we found ourselves in aww of this man we had just met at a cafe. We all felt comfortable with each other. Like we had known each other for years. We openly talked about what makes us tick, and our views of the world. We came into the city wet, tired, and a little cranky. And left with a new friend, a new outlook on life, and one of the best nights we have had on the trip so far.

It goes to prove how special traveling is, and how important it is to put yourself out there, talk to that complete stranger and see what that person has to offer. Whether it is just a simple smile, a good conversation, or some life lessons learned over a glass of wine, everyone has something to offer you, and it is in these brief encounters that we learn the most about ourselves and life.