Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Expat Talk: Long-Distance Friendships
My three best friends are coming over to visit me in May, and I cannot wait. These are the girls (and yes, in my mind, we're still "girls", not "women"!) I went to college with, who travelled cross-country to attend my wedding reception in Seattle, and who cried with me at the airport when we had to say goodbye.
These are the girls who, when I'm feeling inexplicably down, will act as mindreaders and know precisely when to send a text, a letter, or a hilarious anecdote out of the blue - just to remind me that they're there. That they exist.
Occasionally, I'll come home and find an envelope stamped from San Diego, California from the makeshift cardboard "mail box" in the communal hallway. Without stopping to take off my shoes or coat - the buzz of my music still playing in the earphones I've now taken out - I'll sink onto the carpet in our entryway, eagerly tearing open the envelope and excitedly scanning the letter for news, for laughs, for love.
It's that kind of friendship.
We have a term for this kind of friendship: "soul sisters". That is, that you have the ability to intuit each other's moods, feelings, thoughts even from thousands and thousands of miles away. And you have a secret code when you're together. Normal occurences become fodder for tales that will be retold for years to come. In advance of my friends' visit this May, I've sent a group text that read (on more than one occasion), "I can't wait to make new memories with you all!"
Because when they're around? Everything is more fun. Everything's sunnier, brighter, clearer.
While I love and adore the friends I've made during my time here in London, it sometimes makes me sad that there's no one here (besides John) who really "knows" me the way my three best friends do. I miss the completely easy, effortless friendships that we have. It's part of having a shared history, isn't it?
I've talked about long-distance (romantic) relationships before, but I'd love to hear from you about long-distance friendships. How are these friendships tested when we move abroad? Or simply, when we've relocated to a different city, a train or a plane ride away?
If you're an expat, how often do you keep in touch with friends from "home"?