One of the amazing things about traveling and living abroad is the people you meet in random, chance, and fleeting encounters.
Even if you just chat at the airport for 5 minutes or run into someone at a café, you form these deep, meaningful connections that stay with you for life.
And one of those chance encounters occurred for me in the little mountain resort town of La Fortuna in Costa Rica, where I met Rafaela.
I walked down into the lobby of my backpacker’s lodge one day and saw this tall European woman struggling to walk because she’d injured her knee badly in a surfing accident.
Being everyone’s big brother when I travel, my first instinct was to help her out, of course, and that’s how I met one of the smartest, most positive, and dynamic people I’ve been blessed to know.
I met Rafaela in the midst of her year traveling around the world, when she focused on reading, exercise, yoga, and fully immersing herself in the moment. But far from your typical stereotypical backpacker, she carried a nice suitcase and told me she loved the high heels that she packed instead of the typical hiking boots - a true sophisticated badass!
After months of invitations (and begging), Rafaela finally acquiesced and agreed to hop on the podcast with me, which turned out to be one of my favorite conversations yet!