When you set off travelling, you don’t only leave your comfort zone, you will also leave your friends behind. Being apart for a long time will definitely open your eyes to things you didn’t necessarily see before and things will change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Today I’m talking about my experiences with friendship whilst travelling.
I’ve always found it easy to make friends. When we were on holiday when I was a child, my sister would always sent me to the other kids on the beach to make friends to play with. Throughout school, I had a great group of friends but then after school, I was one of the few ones to move away from my town to study in a different city and that’s were things fell apart.
I was rather upset about it at the beginning, but a very wise girl who has become a great friend once told me that sometimes, you just develop in a different directions than your old friends and your long friendship will slowly die. The end of a friendship is never nice, but I’ve come to accept it.
When I first started travelling alone through Thailand, I was a bit shy. Those who have met me by the end of my trip will loudly laugh at this, but in the beginning I was quite intimidated to chat to random people. Thankfully, there was a nice American girl that just dragged me out the first night.
After that I opened up a lot more and started chatting to random people a lot more and made a lot of friends along the way. Some of them were just short term friends to enjoy the city with while I was there and others might have become friends for life.
That Australian girl I met in Hoi An, who I travelled with for 2 weeks and who I’ve shared so many experiences and stories with (and way to many drinks at nights out) and the English girl that I met in Cambodia who I ended up travelling with for almost 3 weeks and who was there for me when I was feeling down.
Then, there are a few people, that you think that you will always have a special connection with. The girl from school you still see regularly, the amazing housemates you met in your year abroad, the friends you made in uni. I always taught that once I come back from my travels, everything will be the same.
In the last 10 years, I have moved quite a few times, not only between cities but also between countries. I have always managed to keep the friendships alive and stay in touch with those people that I care about a lot. However, as soon as you head out into the adventure, you really see who cares about you.
That friend you used to text with every single day will become more and more silent, your old housemate won’t tell you what he’s been up to recently. It’s little things like this you will start to notice. At first, I got very sad about this, but then I remembered the words of my wise friend: people change and so do you.
Your best friend might be moving into a completely different direction in life than you: having a boyfriend, moving in with him, having a busy full time job whilst you jet around the globe sunbathing on a Cambodian beach. When you get home, it’s up to both of you to either revive the friendship were you left it or accept that you are no longer in the same boat.
I think that there are few deep friendships that will last an entire lifetime. But similar to relationships, there are some friends that are right for you for a certain amount of time. The more you grow and the further you get in life, you either find that you still have a strong bond, or you might find that it just doesn’t feel as close as it used to feel.
The only advice I can give you is to just accept it. There will always be friends that you lose touch with because your lives grow apart but there will also be new friends in your life. Embrace it!
Have you had similar experiences whilst travelling?