Friendship & Travel: Goodbyes Don’t Have to Be Forever


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There is a magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.

Throughout my travels, I’ve gained many friends, some of which have been invaluable to my personal growth. Nonetheless, I’ve lost many friends along the way as well. Some friendships ended abruptly when I moved to a new country while others slowly waned over time. I’ve been told that there is an art to maintaining friendships. Even so, while some friendships can be preserved through some level of dedication, most friendships will run their natural course and thereafter can’t be salvaged. Still, true friendships never die in spite of distance.

“It’s never long distance between friends.”

During my sophomore year at Yale, I was contemplating whether I should complete a yearlong study abroad program in Spain. Some friends remarked that they would never be able to do such a thing. “Aren’t you worried that you’ll miss out?” was the common refrain. Truthfully, part of me was concerned, but I went abroad anyway. And, when I finally returned, I realized that I hadn’t missed out on anything at all. Yale was the same as I had left it.

Most of my friends tried to welcome me back into the fold; however, some had moved on to cultivate new friendships. Naturally, we had grown apart, and that was okay. A few of them had changed, but for the most part, I was the one forever changed by my experiences abroad. The true friendships, however, did endure.

Never let the fear of missing out hinder you from traveling. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, travel as far and as often as you can. True friends are steadfast, and your friendships will continue to grow even over the longest distances. Today, as I continue to travel, I find it difficult to maintain contact with friends. However, each time we speak, we are able to pick up where we left off. The words come easy and natural, and the conversations warm my heart and give me a sense of well-being.

Wanderlust

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

I am among those who believe that traveling is one of the few necessities of life. My passion for traveling is perhaps almost as deep as my passion for good food. I enjoy traveling alone as much as I do with others. Still there is something to be said for wandering through a foreign city alone. I’ve learned the most about myself on those occasions, and I am all the better for having done it. For those of you who are consumed by wanderlust, but haven’t yet gathered the courage to travel to one of those far-off places you’ve been longing to explore, I am hopeful that my own travel stories might inspire you to take the first step.