The Unavoidable Consequence of Travel: Friendships
”Travel broadens the mind”
is a quote that everybody has probably heard. It has even been translated to almost all known languages. And the reason for this is simple: it’s true.
I started my mind-broadening travels already as a teenager when I moved to Brighton, England for one summer to learn English with EF Language Travels. That trip was the starting block for my great love for England, English culture, English language and also for traveling, meeting new people and learning about life from different perspectives. Because each person you meet sees life a little bit differently, even if they come from the same country as you.
I have discovered that even though each country has its own culture, and each culture has its own habits and traditions that largely define how we live our lives, in the end we human beings are all similar in so many ways. We all have the basic needs and emotions, even if in some cultures showing those emotions publicly is not considered appropriate. We can get along with people who think completely differently if we just look beyond the differences and concentrate on what all we have in common. And most of all, accept the fact that they are completely entitled to think differently than us.
I have met plenty of interesting people on my travels. By listening to their stories I have also gotten to understand that we are all here trying to get through life as best we can. It was on that first on-my-own-trip that I met a person who instantly became, and still today is one of the most important people in my life: she was a bit older than me so we didn’t hang out in the same group from the beginning of the Language Trip. But every now and then we would bump into each other strolling on the beach in the evening or hanging about on the Brighton Pier amusement park.
We really hit off at the end of the Language Trip when we visited Disneyland in Paris. You know the ”click”-moment that you get with some people. The moment when you realize that it feels very natural and easy to be around this person, you don’t need to pretend or consider what you say before saying it, and they understand what you mean from half a sentence.
In the end we are quite different: she’s quite mellow, relaxed and sees positive in everything and everyone. She has an incredible amount of patience even when people around her fall apart. I, on the other hand, am the loud and crazy emotional wreck who ends up sitting on the ground in the middle of Piccadilly Circus screaming her head off about how much she hates everything and everyone because her birthday party wasn’t a success. This particular friend has seen me at my worst, a state that very, very few people on this planet have witnessed. And despite it all she still answers my messages and agrees to meet me.
And then there are some things that are larger than life for both of us and which unite us: we both have an inexplicable love affair with England, the country draws us both towards it and it has often been the place where we end up meeting. We do not see each other very often even though we live in the same country. But our friendship is one of those kind that doesn’t fade with time: even if it has been 5 years since the last time we met, it’s like no time has passed when we sit down around a table and start fixing the world. It resembles a little therapy session when we get together: just pour all your and the world’s troubles on the table and we will organize and fix them.
Friends are the salt of my life, how tasteless would living be without them! And these particular friends whose loyalty and presence I never need to question are the salt, pepper and chili that make my life the 5-star experience that it is.