Serendipity While on the Road

Serendipity is the psychic gift of discovering beautiful people and magical places by sheer chance or ‘accident’.

Here is an excerpt from the book WINGS AND WANDERLUST (the author’s daring adventures through Europe and North Africa, hitch-hiking for three years).

eastwind journals, August 31, 2021 (archive tr30v2)

In Barcelona, Spain, it was serendipity all over again. The tourist map was confusing, so I threw it away and just started walking to nowhere and everywhere. Serendipity took over. I ended up seeing the most beautiful places by sheer gut feel – the awesome Sagrada Familia church, Ramblas, the main tourist avenue, Castille Montjuich (Jewish mountain) by cable car, seeing the panorama of the city below, and finally Barceloneta, the seaside place where I gorged myself with cheap street food while watching kids playing soccer. Mama mia, all by accident.

When I attended the WTO conference in Hongkong as a journalist, I naughtily went AWOL from covering the street rallies. Instead, I fulfilled a life-long dream to go into a Buddhist temple. I looked at a tourist map with Chinese characters and saw an icon of a Buddhist temple and the number of the bus to get there. I did not know where I was going and where to go down. I said, “Bahala na” (Whatever happens is fine). I asked the bus driver but he did not speak English. I was scared I would get lost. The bus went uphill through a zigzag. My excitement was drowned by my fear.

The bus stopped at a shed in the middle of nowhere. A young girl, who spoke English, beckoned to me. She was with her parents on a pilgrimage to the very temple I was looking for. That was the first serendipity. We walked about 30 minutes on a steep road. The air was cool like in Baguio City back home. Below, I saw the panorama of the mist in the valley below. Half a kilometer from the temple, I heard the chant of Buddhist monks. My hair stood on end. That was the second serendipity, the gift of inner peace.

The girl told me I could enter cloistered areas as long as I did not take pictures. At the very top was a mind-boggling circular altar with a thousand golden statuettes of Buddha. There, I prayed to Jesus and thanked him for bringing me to this sacred Buddhist place. I became more Christian in my encounter with Buddha.

When I got back to my hotel, there was pandemonium at the lobby. Many Filipino rallyists were temporarily blind from the pepper spray the police used against them. I was safe from the violent rally by accident. That was the third serendipity.

Serendipity is the gift of discovery, of people who are invisible and places which are nowhere. Serendipity is sudden magical friends, like that pilgrim girl, and sudden magical places like that Buddhist temple, all discovered by accident.

In Algarve in Portugal during my travels, I went into a camping ground at Faro. I met a British bloke who pointed to two lovely Canadian lasses. He winked at me and we went for the attack. The girls just so happened to have a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky that they were reserving for a special occasion. That was the first serendipity.

Just as we went teary-eyed laughing, comparing adventure experiences as the bottle went dry, the girls pointed to the sky, “Looks like, rain, guys. You got tents?” The Brit and I looked at each other and laughed. We both did not have tents. So we decided to sleep beside the tent of the girls, a wise move. When the downpour came, they had no choice but to let us into their tents. That was the second serendipity. We were so crowded, we all got wet, because with cheap tents, if you touch the low roof, you get very wet.

Serendipity is bumping into water when you are thirsty, or into kind people who help you get up when you stumble. It is ironic that, when you want something so badly, it is elusive, but when you don’t care, it falls on your lap out of nowhere.

There are three important ‘S’s in life – simplicity, sensitivity, and serendip­ity. Simplicity means going back to basics. Sensitivity means listening, opening wide the windows of your soul. Serendipity is the psychic gift of discovering beautiful people and magical places by sheer chance.

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FOR THOSE WHO NEED HEALING, spiritual or physical (depression, anxiety, loneliness, terminal cancer, covid, diabetes, etc.) – say a healing prayer with one or both healers below. Terminal patients have been healed in cyberspace –

1) Father Fernando

2) Sr. Raquel Reodica, RVM –

Download free e-book ‘Healing Stories of Sr. Raquel’ at

AUTHOR’S BOOK  – Wings and Wanderlust – Discovering Your Inner Self. At age 26, the author hitchhiked 25,000 kilometers in Europe and North Africa for three straight years. In this book of his wild adventures, he learned deep insights that changed him totally, which he wants to share with readers. It also a guidebook on how to plan your own adventure. Book cover below.

Order a paperback or an e-book. For paperbacks, if you are a Philippine resident, save on shipping cost by ordering by email at For e-books, if you have an IPAD, download the app ‘kindle’. For non-IPADS, buy a kindle device (check guidelines.) –

Author’s Credentials. Blogger – ex-Columnist (Inquirer) – Healing Ministry – ex-Professor (Ateneo University) – Documentary Producer-Director (freelance, ex-ABS-CBN, ex-TVS Tokyo) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas) – Facebook “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind” / Pages “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” and “Mary Queen of Peace”.


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