I was talking to a friend recently about long-distance relationships. Whether they be romantic, platonic, or familial, at some point in our lives, especially as travelers, we will inevitably say “bye for now” to many loved ones.
I just wanted to take a moment and say a few things about this, and if you have anything to add, I’d love to hear it in the comments!
Ever since my gap year I’ve stayed in touch with people from all around the world. My host family in Barcelona. Jenny and Ida from Norway. Clara from Brazil. Hannah from Newcastle. Anna from Switzerland. Polly, Alex and Tori from England. Daniela from South Africa. Christina from Taiwan. Rumi from Japan. Meli from Austria. Visnja, Eva, Maud and Anneleen from Belgium. Alban, Sidney, Margot, Danae and countless others from France.
I haven’t stayed in contact to the same degree with all of them. Some I haven’t even really talked to at all outside occasional Facebook or Instagram comments. But I am confident that with the ones with whom I still have a strong bond, I’d be able to see them again and it would be as if no time had passed. I already have invitations to Curitiba, Taipei, Zurich and a second visit to Oslo on the table.
I think what has made these friendships possible is the fact that I have accepted that this will be my life as long as I travel and move around. I can’t keep everyone, but if I put in the effort I can always hop on a plane and go say hi. Since my gap year I have seen two of my American friends I met in Barcelona, Anna came last winter and Alban visited this summer. I saw Christina in Paris while her family was on vacation.
I know I can’t call them everyday. I know I probably won’t see Clara and my host family for a while. But I can let them know how I’m doing, and tell them how much they mean to me. I can let them know I appreciate their friendship, even with the miles between us. I can let them know they have a place to stay in Boston should they need it.
As for romantic relationships, I may just find myself in one now, and the future is uncertain. I take it day by day, a few phone calls a week, looking forward to the x number of days until he visits. I don’t know how long it will last, or if it will last at all. I’m in a stage in life where I need to stay put for a few more years before I’m truly free to do whatever I want. But I live in the moment as I do with any of my international friends, until the next time we meet, and I know it will be just as if we never left. The real friends will have your back no matter the distance.
Where are your international friends from? How did you meet? Tell me a story