Let’s set the scene. It is September 2021 and I just got off a bus after getting off a plane after getting off another plane to arrive at my new home, London. I walked up to the flat and opened the heaviest doors known to humankind, I was greeted by a girl who I had only briefly met on instagram as we had been placed as random roommates for our study abroad program.
Little did I know that the girl who would be sleeping 3 feet from me would turn into a life long best friend who I get to embark on the greatest adventures with.
When you live in Europe, everything is very accessible, so traveling became second nature to us. We would hop on a train or book a flight anywhere between 2 weeks to 48 hours before packing up and leaving.
We also learned how to travel without the need for an itinerary. We spent days exploring English coastal towns, discovering castles, and having English breakfasts near the water. We also spent hours walking all around the islands of Greece, never feeling such contentment in the simplicity of the adventure.
So, as we sat on our beds on the last day of our program, Lydia was sobbing and we promised we would see each other at least once a year in the States. And I am very happy to say that two years later, we have accomplished that.
Traveling in America is much different, more expensive, and a little more difficult with full time jobs than it was in Europe. But, we have already checked two cities off the list.
Our most recent adventure was to Nashville, Tennessee. Lydia somehow lucked out with a code for the Taylor Swift concert and sat on TicketMaster for 10 hours to get us tickets. She said, “If I get these tickets, will you meet me there?” As if she even had to ask!
We both made our way to Nashville, one by car and one by plane. We hugged for minutes and caught up as if no time had passed. When it comes to traveling, we will have a general idea, but usually figure it out as we go. Thank you Europe for teaching us that your plans tend to never go as you think, so may as well throw them out the window.
We spent the first night chatting until we simply could not keep our eyes open. We made friendship bracelets for the concert, walked around the city, ate at a diner, and before we knew it, it was time to start getting ready.
We strolled out in similar dresses that we did not even plan to wear together. We hopped in an Uber and headed to the concert. As we were singing our hearts out to Enchanted and Fifteen, I took a minute to acknowledge the small lump in my throat. The feeling of pure joy and gratitude that God had brought a blessing I didn’t even know I would ever find. A friend who will travel across the country to spend a 72 hour weekend with me.
These are the types of people who we search for all our lives, but sometimes never find. These are the friendships that you will tell your kids about as they call her “Aunt Lyds” on FaceTime. This is also a beautiful reminder to take the chance. I remember I didn’t even want to study abroad because I was so nervous to get on a plane by myself. If I would have let that fear conquer me, I would never have met people like Lydia. I would have never met the woman I am today.
So, to the girl who has a long distance bestie, sometimes the ones you only get short amounts of time with are the most special. I think every one should have a long distance best friend at least once in their lives. It teaches you to be present and in the moment when you get to be together. It teaches you to step outside your circle and see what you may be missing.
I am forever grateful for London and Lydia. Until our next adventure.