I soon learned that Susanne was from Switzerland. She was nearing the end of a 2-month journey that would bring her to four different countries. Her launching point had been Southhampton, England where she embarked on a cruise ship and crossed the Atlantic, reaching NYC seven days later. From there, she flew to Cuba where she spent 4 weeks before returning to NYC and eventually making her way to Toronto. She was taking the train as far as Jasper, where she would be renting a car for the remaining two weeks of her journey. She wasn't quite sure where she'd go after Jasper, but she knew of someone's relative in Prince Rupert and thought she might head north.
What amazed me the most about my conversation with Susanne is that, out of the blue, she asked me if I was a meditator. I was taken aback! No one had ever asked me that before, certainly not someone I had just met. I responded that, yes, I was a meditator. She too was a meditator and we quickly began to share stories about our respective traditions. (She, Vipassana - me, Christian Meditation.) I eventually asked her why she had asked me that very odd question. She explained that she was very sensitive to energy and that I had an energy about me that was calm and clear and grounded. It was an instant connection.
Susanne & I spent lots of time together on the train. At times, it was simply in the observation car, sitting quietly as we each enjoyed our personal space. At other times, we joined others at lunch or dinner. I had to laugh when she continued to read her book as we travelled through the Rockies. "How can you DO that?!", I asked her. She then reminded me that she had been raised in the Swiss Alps. :-)
Our conversation eventually lead towards gratitude. I asked her: What are you grateful for? Her answer came quite easily: Freedom. She was very grateful for a life that allowed her to travel so frequently and so freely. She LOVED the freedom of knowing she could choose her path. She loved a life where she could work just long enough to pay for her next great adventure.
Yes. Freedom. Certainly something worth celebrating.
So, I now have an invitation to visit her in Switzerland! As long as she's not away on yet another adventure. I believe the Trans-Siberian Railway is next!
Ich bin Ihnen sehr dankbar, Susanne!
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