195. Chance encounter

SAM_8603

I had multiple thoughts about sharing this very special, near-spiritual, encounter but oh well… since I’ve already gotten the ball rolling. (:

I met Katie on my first day in Langkawi. I was walking along the beach, finding a spot to enjoy the sunset when I saw her. She was trying to get a picture of herself with the sunset so I went up to her and asked if she’d like me to take the picture for her. She graciously and enthusiastically said ‘yes’. She has a beautiful smile but what grabbed my attention was her accent – her Northern English accent.

“I’m Atikah, by the way. Pardon me for asking, where are you from?”

“Oh, I’m from Manchester.”

My heart skipped a beat and then my spirits soar. MashaAllah, I was missing Manchester so terribly (oh if only I could just jump on a flight back there), and lo! Look who Allah crossed my paths with! To say I was excited is a gross understatement.

We ended up talking for nearly an hour on the beach.

She shared with me how she’d grown up in a town in Greater Manchester then moved to London for work. It was awesome to be talking with someone who has the same sentiments as I do regarding these two cities! She was going to travel around Asia for a month before settling down in Melbourne and try to find a job there. Now here, I was amazed. Here she was, this zesty lady who’d travelled halfway across the globe to a place where she doesn’t even know for certain if she’ll get a job. Now that’s what you call faith/craziness/spontaneity, however you want to look at it.

She also divulged a little secret she hadn’t told anyone back home: She was doing yoga in Langkawi.

When she said it, I thought aloud, “Hey, that’s like Eat, pray, love!”, to which she scorned and expressed distaste.

“Wait, you don’t like it too?”

People, this is the first time I’ve met another lady who does not like the story! I have many reasons why I don’t like it but she mentioned one that ranked pretty high on my list: “She made it sound like you can’t do all the other things while being in a relationship. Urm, that’s the whole point: Finding someone who will do them with you!”

I was utterly gobsmacked. I wanted to hug her there and then. A KINDRED SPIRIT.

She asked me then why I was alone, to which I answered, “Probably the very same reason why you’re alone. Except at the end of this week, I’ve got to go back and sit for exams.”

We exchanged knowing smiles.

Really, what were the odds of us meeting?

I cannot adequately express the extent of the impact this particular chance encounter had on me. It brought me to a good place whereby I ventured forth for my emotional and spiritual journey in the next few days. It made me realise primarily, how we’re all just really looking for something we can’t quite articulate. Some of us make the physical journey of seeking, most of us remain stuck where we are at and only move within the confines of our minds.

It was one of the most honest conversation I had with a stranger. We didn’t exchange contact details, just a photo of each other, when we bade our goodbyes. We didn’t need to – we knew that we were meant to cross each other’s paths just for that moment, and only that moment. You know how these moments of impact work; you meet someone you feel an immediate connection with but you can’t explain why.

These souls don’t need to stay in your life. Like Katie, they come and go, leaving pieces of themselves behind and profound wisdom. ❀

Truly, Allah knows best.

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