| friendship (feminine noun) | /amitje/

To my friends I’ve met abroad (past and present),

These are the strongest bonds I know. There’s something about travel that makes us cling to each other like frightened children. Far from our native soil, these bonds take root and quickly strengthen. Friendships here don’t take months to develop. They take days or weeks.

When you feel weary and homesick, remember this: When we go home, our lives will seem so ordinary. We’ll say: “Remember that weekend we spent in Brussels?” We’ll never stop craving those sticky Belgian waffles. Or, “Christ, remember those days in Paris? Can’t we go back?” We got wine drunk on a bottle of rosé and escaped to the terrace when our cheeks got too pink.

If I flew home tomorrow, I wouldn’t be the same tearful girl who arrived in late September. Who will I be eight months from now? I don’t know, but I’m excited to see.

Until then, let’s spend New Year’s in Vienna, getting champagne drunk in palaces and plazas. Let’s brave the frigid temperatures of Eastern Europe and explore the damp, grey landscapes of Poland and Prague. Let’s find our way to Marrakech and ride camels in Tunisia. And, finally, let’s work in an olive grove or vineyard in Tuscany come June. Because God knows when we’ll get this chance again.

The views are intoxicating, and everyday is a challenge. But, damn, I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

About Gabriella

I'm a twenty-something insomniac with a caffeine addiction and chronic wanderlust. I recently graduated with my M.A. in French, and I've spent the past two years living and working as an English teacher in France. I now work as an English professor at a university in Lille, where my students are learning to never omit the Oxford comma.
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