Day 5: Sharing Grapes With A Grown Ass Man: Reconnecting With My Own Humanity Hiking The Syndicate Waterfalls, Dominica

Sharing Grapes With A Grown Ass Man: Reconnecting With My Humanity Hiking The Syndicate Waterfalls, Dominica

Sharing Grapes With A Grown Ass Man | Hiking To The Syndicate Waterfall On Dominica

On our way back from the Syndicate Waterfall, Slim, our tour guide, stopped at a bend in the road, got out of the vehicle and went over to a waterfall to get a drink. I realized he hiked the last two trails with us, we had water and grapes, and he didn’t. I quickly offered to share my water and grapes with him, and he accepted.

In yoga we do all this talk about “creating a connection with other human beings” and “being the light,” and yet, it’s like, “Oh, share my water bottle with a total stranger who lives on a rural island? Ew no. That’s not sanitary at all. In fact, that’s dangerous, what if you get germs from him, or worse, cooties? He should have brought his own water.” And we justify our fear.

F*ck It. Embrace The Cooties

These thoughts went through my head, and then I was like, “F— it. I’m thirsty. Slim’s probably thirsty, too. Share your f—in’ water. Embrace the cooties. Care for the human being in front of you, asshole.” And getting over my fear - because that’s precisely what rejecting or pushing people away from us is; fear, and sharing part of your world with a stranger. It can be scary, but you know what’s on the other side of that unknown? Connection. Sweet, warm-your-soul kind of connection. I shared water and some grapes with a stranger I’d known for 2 hours, and it was a profound moment for me.

You know what’s on the other side of our fears? Connection. Sweet, warm-your-soul kind of connection.

Sterile, White Bread, Don’t-Get-Too-Close America

In America, we’re so used to having everything so sterile and organized. Everyone smells good, our hair wash is always washed (or so it seems, thank you dry shampoo.) We have this whole this-is-mine-and-that-is-yours, don’t cross into my bubble way of living, and yet, when you travel, that thinking comes tumbling down. You explore. You get sweaty. Bugs bite you. Trees bark at you. You’re sunburned. You're thirsty. And these primal parts of ourselves of us get awakened. The formalities don't matter anymore. Grace sets in. And that's when it occurs to you: this is what real life feels like.

Sharing Grapes With A Grown Ass Man Hiking Syndicate Waterfalls, Reconnecting With Real Life

Raw. Imperfect. Human. Welcome To Real Life

Real life is raw. Real life feels like sharing your water with your pack. It brings out our humanity, lights any sort of corporate bull$#!+ thinking on fire, and makes you realize we're all human and we're all approachable.

You care for the needs of your people. You look out for your people. So this simple gesture of sharing my water and bag of grapes with a stranger was a much-needed awakening to my Lululemon lovin' booty; getting over myself and my sterile, white-bread thinking attitude broke open a well of human decency and flood of real human connection. Here’s what I learned about Slim:

  • Slim primarily speaks English and Creole.

  • He has a sister in St. Lucia.

  • He lives in Portsmouth.

  • He likes Machel Montaño (who doesn’t?)– Who performed at the creole festival two years ago.

I never mustered up the courage to ask him question #1: WHY ARE YOUR NAILS SO RIDICULOUSLY LONG and #2 HOW DO I GET MY NAILS TO GROW RIDICULOUSLY LONG LIKE THAT?! out of fear of being socially rude or impolite.

I’m so thankful Slim didn’t bring his own water that day. Or snacks. He gave me the opportunity to get my head out of my own ass and reconnect with my own sense of adventure, and humanity; through the simple gesture of sharing some grapes with a stranger.

Have you had a moment while traveling that brought you face to face with your humanity? What did that moment look like for you? Please share your story in the comments below, I would love to hear your story as a fellow traveler!