What Happens to the Friends You Make Abroad

As you travel around the world, you meet all kinds of people. Some of these people are scum bags, others are God sent. A bunch of these people will become your friends, but only a few will become your forever friends. Some will be friends to your face while talking about you behind your back. Others will move into your life and never leave.

It’s human nature to be social and make friends. Many people have that one friend from childhood who, despite your best efforts, just wouldn’t leave. We love and hate these people. Humans are social creatures. We gather, hunt, live, love, cry together. The same is when we are traveling around the world. The person we travel with or meet on the road can either make, break, ruin, or save our trips. When the trip is over, what happens to the friendship? Well, the honest truth is this.

Sometimes…

They pretend like it never happened.
I have met people around the world that I was friends with for one night and one night only. The next morning, they pretended to have never met me. Like, come on man. You’re totally in the pictures from the bar last night.

They like every single one of your photos.
Many friends get added on Facebook. They will then do the typical stalking of new friend, but to show how much they love me, they’ll like every single one of my photos. Even the embarrassing ones from 10th grade…

 

Matilda and I in NYC

They visit you and you visit them.
To date, two of my best friends from Ireland have visited me in Georgia. I have visited friends in DC and in Prague and Vienna! It’s difficult having friends spread so far around the world. But it’s great to always have a free place to crash!

 

They unfriend you on Facebook.
I traveled to Ireland for the first time in 2012 with a friend from study abroad. She and I traveled all over the country, got horribly drunk together, and then she unfriended me on FB a few months later. When I figured out she had, I cocked my head to one side and wondered what I’d done to her. Couldn’t think of anything aside from the fact that I locked myself in the hostel bathroom to barf all night. Sometimes they unfriend you.

You become jealous of their lives.
Sometimes you and the friend become really close on the road or living in another country. After you’ve parted ways, it can be difficult to see them move on with their lives. You don’t know their thoughts on the latest gossip. You don’t know their latest gossip. You never even met their new boy friend. They go out with new friends and post “bff” pictures on FB that should be you and them – not them and their new friends.

Jaquie and I on the hike from Bray to Greystones.

You look back on the memories with a smile.
It can be difficult, but a day comes when you think about this one time with that one person and smile. You don’t know what they are up to, but you’re happy to have special memories of them.

 

You love them from afar.
Just like when you were together, your love and friendship doesn’t change. You’re just further apart.

You unfriend them on Facebook.
Some friends you add on FB after a night of booze. Two years later said person pops up on your feed and you can’t remember where you know that person from. Then after you unfriend them you remember. #Oops

 

They drift away.
I’ve also had friends to slowly drift away. It’s difficult to keep up a friendship across six time zones and two separate lives. It’ll begin slowly, but before you know it, the two of you haven’t spoken in months. Then it’s a year.

St. Paddy’s Day – Dublin, Ireland

You find your friend soulmate.

Then there’s that one person who just gets you inside and out. This person knows your deepest darkest secrets. You’ve seen them do some shady stuff and they’ve seen you at your worst. You cried and laughed together. They’re your friend soul mate. There isn’t another person out there like them.

They never leave you.
Whether the friend moves in with you, marries you, or keeps in touch, they never leave. There are some friends who are with you through it all to the end. From the moment you met in that dingy bar or on that charter bus or the day you moved into the scary new apartment, you knew you’d found a forever kind of friend.

 

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