I can’t lie; I think it’s pretty incredible to have friends who live all around the world. Although the distance is often hard to deal with, the idea of having someone to see – particularly in a country I haven’t yet traveled to – excites me. Day dreaming about future visits makes not being able to spend time together in person more bearable.
Many of the people I refer to are from my years studying, but there’s something to be said for the bonds you create with people when and where you least expect to. It blows my mind how little time it can take to feel close to another person, despite not knowing if and when you’ll ever see them again.
Whenever I think about travelling to a new place, I inevitably remember the people I have met throughout my previous adventures around the globe. People that I don’t get to see often. People that I may not even speak to on a regular basis except for the odd Facebook like or birthday wish. People like the unforgettable Chilean sibling trio who I played volleyball with for four days straight in Cuba. Like the German I ate take-away pasta with in Venice or the Turkish girl with unmatched wisdom who I shared wine with during a hot Spanish summer.
Then there are people who you do an internship with abroad for a few weeks and actually become an important part of your life. Who you make an effort to reunite with in New York or Ireland because you stay in touch enough to be excited about how big their nephew is getting or their upcoming wedding. Exploring a new place with someone won’t guarantee a lifelong friendship, but if you’re a traveler who likes to talk to strangers as much as I do, I encourage you to take some time every once in a while to appreciate and reflect on those you’ve met along your journeys. You may end up realizing that some buried memories mean more to you than you thought. At the very least, you’ll have a story to reminisce about next time you’re daydreaming about where your next flight is headed.