Our FB friends – Tristan Telle & Stephanie Babineau

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Back in September 2015, the face book entry at the time was: “you wander up the road in a foreign country … sharing a salutation and then a conversation … with a total stranger … to then have this total stranger Tristan Telle and his partner Stephanie Barbineau sitting in our caravan almost three years later … picking up the conversation – priceless.”

KC29-1They then re-visited us again however, this time at our permanent residence.  More rock climbing and hidden thermal hot spring stories from the South Island countryside travelled.  More vibrations from the ukulele chords strummed and Tristan purchasing the very first copy of ‘Re-Kindle You’.  That was humbling.

KC29-3But this was a transition stop to re-gather, research and re-frame.  They made their way to Auckland to exchange four wheels for two and on Christmas Day 2015, began to cycle the length of New Zealand.  Even though we did it in the opposite direction back in 2007, Tristan and Stephanie doing it flooded back bum on seat moments that take you to that place of utmost fulfilment where the hair on the back of your neck rises to stand at attention.  The heartfelt captivated emotional ones.

And after peddling the length, they returned to us last week cycling back having clocked up just on 4000 kms.  Add a further 25 kms to that total.  We took them out on a tandem to wean their arses back into the civilian world they were about re-enter!  The child who leaned across a table at a Café to ask Tristan if he was Thor gives you some indication of head hair length from life on the bike!

KC29-6The Canadian English grammar (not Grand-ma) made for banter as they scrubbed, dried, broke down and packed up their worldly possessions in preparation for the New Zealand exit.  Introducing them to some friends saw the yellow ukulele they carried on their journey be gifted to our friends daughter.  Sounds of song to the plucking of strings had music being made by two cultures jamming.  All good moments must come to an end as our friends wandered off in the early hours of the morning, Ayla asleep clasping her ukulele.

Tristan and Stephanie departed our shores Monday just gone destined for home to surprise their parents, siblings and friends.  As we shed a tear of sadness to see them go, we knew that the tears of joy on the other side of the globe would have had the same fulfilment of hairs on peoples backs raised there.

It’s hard to describe how this type of friendship is one when we are old enough to be their parents.  It’s been fascinating having bridged a ‘salutation’ on one part of the globe to have them visit us on our part of the globe.  And it was our pleasure to host these two amazing kids whom inspired us with their free spirit attitude to life to remind us to keep going with ours.

The upcoming tandem bike ride across Canada will see us join in conversation again on their part of the globe.

Create  your own hair raising fulfilment moments in time – say “Greetings” to a total stranger in a foreign country.

It’s thor-oughly worth it.

Book Launch - Tristen Photo