Every once in a while, you meet someone under the most unexpected circumstances. When I first met Franzi, we were both on a shuttle bus heading from Antigua to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. We hit it off well during the ride, chatting about our past travels and sharing different stories,. But since we were each going to different villages, both of us assumed this would be the only time we'd ever see each other. As it turned out, we were wrong.


Neither of us was sure how long we'd be staying at Atitlan, nor where we'd go next, therefore, it came as a complete surprise when I walked into Matiox Hostel four days later to find her checking in at the front desk. After the initial 'you again?!?' shock, the person at the desk told us about bar trivia at the hostel that night, so we figured, "Why don't we be a team?" While it was already apparent to me that Franzi was incredibly interesting and world traveled, I had no idea how trivia was going to go, but as it turned out, the two of us were unstoppable. Together, we crushed all 4 rounds, winning a free drink for each one.

But while that story was awesome, Franzi as a person is exponentially more exciting than any story I could possibly tell. She is by no means the standard traveler who simply skims through countries to see famous sites. Instead, Franzi fully immerses herself into any place she goes, living experiences most people can't even imagine. Only in her early 20s, she has lived with a family in Bolivia, climbed a volcano in Guatemala to see an eruption at sunrise, can speak multiple languages as good as most people speak one, and is about to go on a backpacking trip through Ethiopia. She's lived more than most people get to live in a lifetime, and her wanderlust only seems to grow.

And on top of all this, she's really chill and laid back about it all. One day, she'll go diving in the Caribbean and the next, she'll enjoy the day off next to a pool or hot tub. All the while, giving interesting insights, never bragging, and just a fun person to be around.

Be like Franzi: Keep the wanderlust alive, find the balance between excitement and calmness and enjoy it all!