Even years after you travel, the people you shared the journey with will always have a special impact on your life. When you travel, your buddies become your family and your support system. They are the people you rely on physically and mentally, in order to enjoy a new and exotic location– safely and happily.
Years after my summer traveling Europe, and a full year after studying in Ireland, I count the people who took the trek with me as important people in my life. I know if I truly am in need, I can rely on them, or at the very least reach out. Even if it’s just the occasional text, meeting for coffee, or “catching up” after a long time, I am forever indebted to the memories I shared with people I trekked across the world with. I am lucky enough to have made friends in different cities and countries, and the journey would not be the same without these important friendships.
Sometimes these relationships are short-lived, or they fall apart for reasons that simply can’t be explained. This is no one’s fault. Perhaps a close bond is sometimes just not sustainable for people who only have a physical presence during an adventure of a lifetime.
Other times, you are lucky, and these people are your closest confidants for life.
My fondest memories from the last two years include my fall break excursion to Italy, with two girls I shared some of the happiest days of my life with. We are still close, and I have no doubt that if we were all physically together, our laughter and adventuring spirit would be exactly the same. I shared tears and genuine smiles with these girls, and I can say with certainty I’d be a much different person if the two of them hadn’t enjoyed Rome and Venice with me. I can happily reflect on pictures of gondola rides, getting lost, and dinners by the Venetian canals. I count my lucky stars for friends like these- and so many more I’ve met along the way.
Study abroad friends teach you how to compromise. They teach you to live life to the fullest. They push you out of your comfort zone, and into the person you are genuinely meant to become. I am grateful for those I have traveled with. I am grateful to those I will travel with in the future. Even if we aren’t friends anymore after traveling together, I can say with utmost certainty, you are still valuable to me.