Friday, October 30, 2009

Oh the places she'll go!

I am writing to you once again from Hostel Celica, the former prison turned Slovenian budget getaway. In realty, this hostel should be number one on any vacationer's list. Ok, hostels aren't for everyone, but this place is an experience on its own. I've noticed that it's also a destination within itself and the guests that are staying here now, range in age from 20 something to 80 something. In fact, last night, my roommate was my new friend Michiko, whom I met while traveling in Lake Bled yesterday. She is a phenomenal woman, by any and all standards.

Michiko was born in Tokyo almost 80 years ago and speaks very broken English. Her home is now, and has been for the past 18 years in Honolulu. She has LITERALLY traveled the world on her own. Most notable is the fact that she did not travel at all until she retired at the age of almost 55. She has never married and I believe, from what I have seen that she does not regret this fact. She told me and another person that we met yesterday, Paul from San Fransisco, that she used to take photos of all her travels and now they all sit in a box and in albums at her home. She no longer takes more photos because she believes that not having children or grandchildren, means that no one would be interested in her stories or photos, but boy is she wrong!

Her stories entranced Paul and I all day yesterday! Today she and I traveled together, while Paul went hiking in the Alps. It turns out that Michiko was 12 years old during WWII and at that time, 12 year olds in Japan stopped going to school and started working in the factories, building guns, airplanes, bombs, etc. for the war. Michiko was one of these children. As well, at 2 years old, she was kidnapped by a man who was known for selling children into slavery in Singapore. Luckily, a neighbor saw the man grab her and called for help. Michiko remembers no more after she was grabbed, until she returned home. She has been to every habitable continent at least twice! Tomorrow, she is off to Croatia, because she has never been there. When I asked her why she came to Ljubljana she said that she just wanted to see it. I also asked her if she ever read up on places before going there and she said no. She just goes and whatever happens happens. She believes that she has a guardian angel on her shoulder and I'm inclined to agree.

So, if any of you out there ever thinks about traveling to a new place, but fears it, I encourage you to think of Michiko, because she puts even me to shame. I can only hope to travel to half the places she has been to.

Ok, that's all for now. I will update you all on the rest of my trip...the more scenic elements and touristic delights; such as the best soup I have ever had in my life, when I return to Florence tomorrow!

For now, goodnight from Slovenia!

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