Where Does Your Wanderlust Take You? "Connections"
~ By Jeff Liffmann
In August of 2009, I made a spontaneous decision with a few friends to take a trip from Buenos Aires, Argentina to the Patagonian ski resort of Bariloche. We walked to the bus station, purchased our tickets, took the Subte (subway) home, packed our bags, and 4 hours after making the initial decision to go, we were on a 20+ hour bus ride across the width of Argentina. A friend of a friend had told one of us about a great hostel. With no other plan and no desire to do further research, just a few hours before arriving in Bariloche, we called the hostel and secured our spots. And everything was amazing. We went skiing (August is winter in Argentina), we drank a bit (AKA a lot) of Malbec, and we made new friends. One of these friends was named Evan.
Evan had been traveling through South America by himself and Bariloche was his second to last stop. He had already been at the hostel for a few days when we showed up. Evan snowboarded with us, joined us for meals and drinks, and just felt like part of the group. I found out that he needed a place to stay for a few nights in Buenos Aires before his flight back to the USA. So I offered my couch, we hung out a bit longer, and I sent him on his way.
Flash forward to Summer 2011 and I’m walking around Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg outdoor food fair and I hear someone calling my name. It was Evan, amongst a sea of hipster foodies (myself included), thousands of miles from where I thought he was living, (San Francisco, he was studying at Stanford when we met), and it had been more than two years since we had seen each other or even spoken. This was nothing short of a miracle. Evan had graduated and moved to Brooklyn and was working for the small company that ran Smorgasburg. We quickly rekindled our bromance, traded phone numbers, and lived happily ever after.
Today, as I drove to San Francisco for my first real visit to the city, I was a bit more worried than I wanted to be. My initial plans for where to stay fell through, I had spent money on hotels twice in the previous week, I had scoured Couchsurfing, and exhausted just about all of my personal contacts and resources. I was seconds away from paying for yet another night of lodging through AirBnb when it hit me: I should call Evan. Even though we hadn’t spoken in a few months, even though he currently lives in Chicago, and even though he hasn’t lived in San Francisco for two years, just a few minutes after we spoke, Evan texted me with the name and number of a friend who had already agreed to take me in.
These are the kind of stories that I live for, that make me believe in the power of humanity and friendship and kindness. These are the kind of stories that can only happen when you trust yourself as much as you trust others. Evan once traveled through South America by himself, I am currently traveling through the United States by myself, but in times like these, it is impossible to think that we were ever alone.
~ Jeff Liffmann is a musician who focuses on creating a unique and improvised atmosphere for the yoga studio. Using various keyboards, drums, and guitar, Jeff creates a completely live musical soundscape weaves seamlessly with the energy and flow of the yoga studio. He is on the road indefinitely and committed bringing his practice to yogis far and wide. You can check him out at www.jeffliffmann.com and in various locations throughout California in the month of May, including at The Yoga Tree with Janet Stone this Friday May 10 at 6:15pm, not to mention at Wanderlust Vermont this June.