There are many reasons that people love to travel. The freedom it brings, sights you see, things you learn and experience, but especially the people you meet. I have found that the older I have been when I’ve gone travelling the better the friends I made are. The friendships created are more realistic and less superficial than when travelling at 18. (As I said, this isn’t a rule, but seems to be the case for me!) Whether you travel with your new friends for two weeks or two months, you get to know them far quicker than if you were to spend the same period of time with them at home in your regular life. It’s the ‘strip-bare’ nature of friendships created. When you meet someone travelling after covering the basics of name, age, where they’re from and their travels so far and advice, you are left to get to know them for who they are and nothing else. There aren’t any preconceptions or expectations-you can just be yourself entirely. This is why I feel that the friendships made while travelling can be some of the truest. By just talking to them about whatever thoughts pass your mind, you gradually (but far more quickly than home) get an understanding for their attitudes towards things, moral standings and opinions, etc. It also helps that most people are in the same mind-frame and therefore far more willing to listen to the other opinion or perspective–it’s easier!
It is due to these friendships created that I am writing this blog from the South of France instead of Canada. My boyfriend and I met whilst we were both travelling through Southeast Asia in 2009 and in turn met, created and travelled with our family away from home. Nine of us ended up following, looking after, laughing and helping each other through the very best and extreme worst of our crazy adventures. For seven weeks we saw each other all day, everyday, playing and having fun, chatting, playing guitar and eating all while facing every challenge together. Whether it was a broken hand, severe motorcycle burn, zero money with zero ATMs or severe excess of Thai Red Bull (watch out for that stuff!) we had each other covered!
One of the girls-Juliet-has just got married in France to her lovely French husband. Along with fellow Go Girl writer and SEA sister, Marianne, we made the adventure with many others from every corner of the globe to watch the beautiful union. Juliet’s tale is another tale of the travel of love. Returning from Asia in the summer of 2009 and settling back into New York life uncertain of her plans for the future. By the winter it was clear she would be moving to London after securing a place for a very sought-after Master’s program. Typically, a month after she had moved to London, I was moving over to Canada, so we settled for a last dinner and huge catch-up whilst comparing tales of nerves, excitement, and unknown adventures from switching Atlantic sides. One thing Juliet was absolutely convinced of was that this year was for her. She wanted a year in London to settle back into ‘real’ life but while still finally trying to figure out what she wanted, and the very last thing she wanted in the equation was boys. A month after that dinner-my spoken prediction from that night came true-a boy and love had most certainly found her. When she didn’t want to find it, it had found her. Just 18 months later they were married in a beautiful ceremony and reception at her grandparents’ stunning French estate west of Bordeaux.
Love certainly does travel very well!
As always when I’m back in England, it’s a mad rush to fit in seeing as many people as possible from all life’s paths. School, University, randomly met people and, of course, my travel buddies! Although living in Canada has limited how often I get to see them, I will always try my hardest! And while its always a side trip out of London, My Southeast Asia family will always manage a reunion-and this trip was no exception! We’ve all seen each other at our absolute worst, smelliest, poorest and broken-what friendship wouldn’t survive all these?!