…That’s what Friends are For (puke)
Isn’t it wonderful to travel to new places? Isn’t it divine to climb new mountains, explore unknown caves and walk along the shores of foreign beaches?
Sure. But it can be lonely. Coming to a new place means leaving behind all familiarities, from well-loved family members to delicious Ranch dressing. Travel guarantees moments of awkwardness, discomfort and – above all – a hyper awareness that you are all alone in the great big yonder.
And so it’s great to meet friends.
It’s fantastic to find people with an interesting story who are just as keen for travel as you. It’s even better if they like trying the same restaurants and chicken-filled buses as you. And it’s really great when you move across that delicate line from friends-of-convenience to friends-who-share-deodorant (not just a hypothetical). It’s lovely to find that you suddenly have inside jokes with people whose outside you barely knew a few weeks ago.
New friendships don’t diminish the importance of old ones (do I hear a melody about silver and gold beginning…?). But they do help transform the foreign to familiar. Suddenly the exotic beach to be walked alone becomes a meeting spot with the girls. And that restaurant where you used to get take-away beckons you and Friends to sit down and enjoy.
Forget the unforgettable new food that travel allows you to encounter. Stuff the scenery. Travel is about people. People are the culture and the excitement we wanderlust travelers are searching for. When trapped in a spell of missing boyfriend , missing parents and craving Kraft macaroni and cheese, the gorgeous moonlight can’t hold a candle to meeting up with a friend for a beer. When scooters chase you around and you wake up to a cockroach checking you out, it’s friends who remind you to enjoy the adventure.
So hooray for friends; the ones back home who you’ve known all your life and the ones who you know just well enough to want to know them better. Hooray for people who take you under their wing just because they’re nice. Thank you, Friends, for taking the edge off of the unknown and softening the blows of foreign mishaps.
Just as one little duck said to a pig, “Friends are nice.”