I have been blessed to still have travelling friends in my life whom I met donkey’s years ago. There have been many, many people I have laughed and shared amazing times with, but not all of them are still in my life. It takes a special friendship to transcend from a travel buddy to a lifelong friend and it’s wonderful to have those people around to reminisce about the good times shared in foreign countries.
So this blog is for the travel buddies I have met throughout the years whom I feel honoured to still call friends. This is my way of thanking them for the years of friendship they have given me which has enabled me to keep my travel memories alive.
I am proof that you can make lifelong friends whilst travelling.
This was my first big travelling adventure – a two-month overland expedition through Egypt, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Malawi, Zimbabwe & Botswana.
Annemie – a Belgian whom I met in Africa 1999
We bonded over chocolate... it’s as simple as that. She told me about “Belgian National Chocolate Day” on 6th December and every year since then, we will text or Facebook one another to say we are eating chocolate! I have since googled this day and cannot find anything official that it exists... maybe it’s a “local” thing ... maybe she was teasing me and made it up but either way, I don’t care; I will always continue to “celebrate” this day and think of Annemie!!
When Sy and I went to Amsterdam for our Hen & Stag party, she made sure she joined us for a drink – the countries are neighbours after all. It was fantastic she was able to be part of the celebrations.
Cilla and I were both staying in the same backpacker beach accommodation on Lamai Beach, Koh Samui and became part of the same group of people from all different nationalities, hanging out during the day and going for drinks at night... great! After three weeks in Koh Samui, five of us continued to travel together and in total, we spent around five weeks with one another.
I made sooooo many friends on my year’s working visa in Australia so unfortunately, I cannot give them all the write up they deserve, but these people are still an active part of my life.
Mari (from Norway) – We met in Trekker’s Backpacker Hostel on the Gold Coast and later spent a day together at the Chinese Gardens in Sydney.
Mark – from Manchester, we met in one of the Great Pyramids of Giza, 2010
This has to be our best story for meeting a friend!! Sy and I were in a pyramid taking a selfie and Mark asked if we wanted him to take the picture. We happened to be on the same tour – a day trip to Egypt from Cyprus so ended up hanging out together and, at the end, we exchanged details.
Justin deserves a special shout out because he allowed me to interview him for our launch blog “Chernobyl, the ghost town 30 years on”, and my recent interview on "Auschwitz - we must never forget". It was a pleasure working with him on both occasions and nice to simply have an excuse to spend more time chatting with him.
We sincerely hope we get a chance to meet up with him again.
We were both in Iceland on the Golden Circle Tour, Boxing Day and loved the Country so much, we booked to do the South Coast Tour the following day. There were just four of us (including our guide) on the trip so it was like a few mates hanging out for the day – very special. Even though we haven’t had a chance to meet up since we returned home, we regularly comment on each other’s lives on Facebook (avid Game of Thrones fans!!).
She did, however, do something very special for us. On 27 November 2015 on what would have been Bruce Lee’s 75th birthday, Sy and I posted on Facebook that we went out to celebrate. Jen commented that his grave was just down the road from her and would she like us to do something? Hell yeah! About an hour later, she posted a photo on Facebook of a lighted candle and the words “From Angie & Sy, England”. This was such a simple thing to do but so heart-warming and caring, it touched us. But that’s Jen all over –she’s very big-hearted!
Even though this is a new friendship, since our return home from Borneo, we have regularly been in contact with one another and we hope to meet again somewhere soon now that both she and Sy have qualified as Dive Masters! I missed our chats on the beach when we returned to Borneo for Christmas 2016! I am very much looking forward to spending more quality time again with her again when we do see one another in some sunny destination!
Not forgetting Harwin, Bernarda, Michael, Chris, Bert, Paulien, Axel, Anooshe, Dawni, Paul, Tom & Thomas, all of whom I keep up with on Facebook to see how they are doing. One day I hope our paths will cross again…
So, as you can see, travelling alone doesn’t mean you will stay alone and it doesn’t mean you won’t have the opportunity to share those special memories of a particular place with that person again. Real friendships last as long you both put in the effort – regardless of the distance!
And so, once again, I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of my travelling friends, those who have been mentioned here, the ones I have met along the way and those I will meet in the future. You have all given me memories to last a lifetime!
Do you have travelling friends you are still in touch with? Tell me about them, they deserve a mention for making your adventure just that little bit more special!
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