Travelling in itself is an incredible experience but what makes it really special is the people you get to spend those moments and make those memories with. Winding up in a foreign country on your own away from home family and familiarities can be quite daunting, sometimes all you need is that welcoming friendly smile from somebody who is in the same position as you, excited but nervous.
This is what makes these friendships special, these people stay in only your most admirable memories of your time on that sunny beach or looking down or a city landscape or even watching the sunset over a canyon, its endless.
Everyone is curious in finding out more about each other and in a short period of time you find yourself connecting with these people, calling yourself’s a team or mate. You start to trust in each other and build friendships, your friends become your season family.
Your friendships with people from home are easily picked up from where they left off, they ask about your stories and its nice to have the comfort of normality for a while so don’t feel threatened by leaving, it may feel like a long time but it is not a permanent goodbye.
As magical as it all seems of course whilst your away you will still find people that irritate you or you take a disliking to… not everyone can be best friends I suppose?
Its like being thrown into a variety box of chocolates, everyone is from different back grounds and parts of the world yet we would all find at least one thing we had in common with one another. Not always do people connect or have a lot in common and this can be difficult because you may be spending a lot of time in each others company whilst travelling or working abroad and have to play ‘happy families’ for a lot of the time but to be honest even the people you don’t like you eventually find yourself starting to like because they become a small part of the big picture that you will ultimately always find yourself looking back at and smiling about.
‘We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend’ – Robert Louis Stevenson
Some may even find love. However, as always there’s a catch 22… when your time together draws close to an end, you become aware of the fact the fairy tale may be falsed to an end and that person you spent so much time with becomes a special holiday romance left in the past. Some of the more coincidental situations would be a couple that met away but luckily don’t live far from each other back home, wherever that may be, this is probably the more ideal situation. Eventually everyone heads home in there different directions and relationships can make this twice as hard to say goodbye. Whats been really nice to see is the amount of couples that met during their time away including some of my closest friends that have met their partners away. They might stay together but have to go home to see their family’s, their time at home is spent saving and planning for their next adventure, but this time together. Escaping reality and exploring together as best friends, I believe that could be the healthiest thing for two people to be together.
A friend doesn’t always have to be a person… they might have fur and paws and maybe even sharp teeth. I am a huge animal lover and for me sometimes confiding in a being that doesn’t give an opinion or talk back can be the most therapeutic and peaceful of them all. Bonding and taking a liking to an animal is something that always came very easily and quickly for me, my soft heart just can’t resist them! When you start to feel a connection and the animal becomes reliant on your affection and attention, a very protective emotion comes over you, this makes it nearly impossible to say goodbye. I miss the animals just as much as the people, there is something very homely about having animals around, they are easy to love and heart breaking to leave behind! I think about those animals every day and will love them for the rest of my life no matter where in the world I am.
When your arrive back in reality and find yourself back in your home town which seems a smaller place than ever… you miss spending everyday with these people who you lent on like family for what felt like a life time though now feels like it has been and gone in the click of a finger.
Arranging reunions is always exciting! When you see everyone again all those memories come rushing back to you and you feel over whelmed to be reunited after time apart.
Laurie – I met Laurie in 2013 on my first season, she was shy at first but quickly revealed her earthly, bubbly self and I just loved her! we soon became the best of friends and what was nice was I was able to visit her back home as she lived in a town that was roughly a 25 minute drive from me. Meeting Laurie gave me inspiration she had already done a fair bit of travelling, places that I had dreamt of exploring one day and we had similar interests, we both wanted to give something to the world, help, donate money to those less fortunate, get our hands dirty and we both shared a love for animals. Laurie met her current partner whilst we were on our season and recently it just passed a year that they have been living and working in Australia together. I had missed having her around for so long and following my previous blogs about my recent trip to Thailand I was ecstatic to be reunited with this blonde beauty after what felt like a lifetime. Where the tourists gathered in their hundreds to party through the night, where the lively hood of Bangkok took place… Koh San Road. Laurie and her partner Callum had also been travelling Asia over the winter season and we happened to end up in the same place at the same time, when we caught each others eye outside of ‘The Golf Bar’ (Koh San Road) we clambered through the crowds of people and jumped into each others arms, we were both completely over whelmed with tears rolling down our cheeks. We spent the next few hours in each others company dancing and laughing until we had to go our separate ways again… Until next time soul sister! 😉
Zoe – I met Zoe when I was 15 she was a year younger than me and we had both gone to an activity camp for a week as a trip. Through out the week I managed to break through the shell of this shy, timid and quiet little bean and get to know the strong minded, independent and fun girl that was hiding underneath. We instantly clicked and for chalk and cheese our friendship grew and grew and grew… Zoe has not only been a best friend but like a younger sister, no matter how long it has been since we last saw each other we have no problem at picking right up from where we left off. We can talk for hours, laugh over nothing, smile about little things and understand each others busy and very different lifestyles. I have spent a small chunk of my life in the capital city visiting this girl and its something I always look forward too and will always make time for! Zoe also enjoys to travel and we have future plans of going together, what a blast that would be! On most of my trips I have had to fly in or land at London Heathrow airport, what I love about this, my trip becomes even more exciting before I’ve even left the UK or my trip doesn’t feel quite over once I’ve landed home when I get to spend those before and after moments with my best friend. Walking outside of the airport to see her sparkling smile and the little bounce she does on the spot through excitement is the cutest thing ever! when I landed in from America she had even sat up the night before making me a massive ‘Welcome home’ banner. Meeting Zoe was my first step away from all id ever known with in my home town and the people I had grown up around, meeting her and exploring the capital was my first foot out the door it was the first boost that gave me confidence in finding my independence.
I have been incredibly fortunate and thank full for the people I have met along the way in all of my journeys and adventures, the people that had an impact and made me feel at home. I now have friends from all over the world which can also be very handy whilst travelling as you may find you start to have some personal tour guides as well as a free roof over your head for a few nights and all in great company! My journey has taught me that you don’t always need lots of ‘things’ to be happy… they are only objects, but to have a good friend by your side and a back pack with everything you need, all your clothes and essentials on your back… your good to go! And I can guarantee your happiness will shine through you!