Solo Travel: The Other Maia, Lisbon, Portugal

As I am leaving my hostel I cannot shake the niggle that I simply must have a photo in the hostel lobby with my suitcase. Not sure why. Loved my stay there so much, I think I wanted to remember the feeling of being “one with suitcase”. 

I linger for a moment glancing around for someone approachable. Asking strangers to take your photo is awkward and cringey. But I wanted the suitcase shot..
I see a friendly-looking girl coming down the stairs and politely request a photo, she happily obliges.

She takes a generous selection then kindly asks if I’d like some with the beautiful view outside. 
“Only if you have time!”
We walk to the glorious backdrop, chatting and laughing, she snaps away.
“What’s your name?” I ask. 
“Maia!” She replies.
“No way! That’s my daughter’s name!” 
“What’s the spelling?”
“M A I A…”

“Me too!” She says, eyes beaming, (she’s very pretty.)

For some reason at this point I feel compelled to hug her as though greeting my actual daughter. 
I immediately think of this small coincidence as some kind of sign from the universe. (Of what exactly, I’m undecided.) Out of all the guests, I picked a Maia to take my photo. (Not often I meet a Maia spelt in the same way.) 
We acknowledge the common mispronunciation of her name and say our goodbyes. 

I walk away excited to get back to my Maia and tell her all about the lovely 23 year old backpacker-Maia.


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