Friendship has been foremost on my mind this week. I’ve reunited with childhood friends, one of them my best. Ours began in the seventh grade and continued through middle school, high school and college. Along with all the normal teenage stuff, we shared dreams and goals…and we had big ones! My first trip abroad was to meet up with her after she finished a semester in London. I wouldn’t say this trip created my love for travel, it was there much earlier, but it definitely gave me the desire for more. Little did I know that it would be 17 years until I finally made it to Italy and as they say, the rest is history.
Since then I’ve had a serious travel bug with a desire to return to Italy as often as possible. In a week, I will be arriving in Florence accompanied by 3 girlfriends. We plan to soak up as much of the Italian lifestyle as possible, delighting in the culture, style, beauty and feasting on pasta, Prosecco and pastries. The best caffe in the world will keep us energized throughout. During our visit, we will join up with friends we’ve made on recent trips and probably meet more.
There is something about travel that bonds you with people on a different level. Perhaps it’s knowing your time is short allowing the connection to happen faster. I believe that travel brings out your true character and frees you to be open to adventure. The shared experience with friends creates a lifetime bond. I can’t wait to spend the next week forging new memories with old and new friends.
Getting together with my childhood best friend has rekindled the same closeness we shared as teenagers. We both feel that after the 20 plus years that we were apart, we picked up right where we left off. Only now we’re older and wiser, not to mention we have families. The next chapter of our friendship is exciting and like the earlier years, I’m certain it will involve travel.
All of this reflection has me feeling grateful for the wonderful friends in my life; past, present and future. It is the experiences and memories we share that connect us and make our lives richer.