One of the most incredible aspects of travel is the people you meet. Two weeks with a complete stranger can feel like you have known them a lifetime. Your paths crossed during this incredible journey and you will have both experienced shared life-changing moments. They get you, you get them, it is the perfect recipe for an amazing friendship. You would have bonded with people who weren't like your friends back home, in fact, they aren’t like anyone you have ever met before, but somehow you have gelled and you can't imagine a life without them in it.
The sad reality of friendship
Unfortunately, when you come home, chances are your life will carry on without them in it and as time passes, you can lose touch and it hurts. Losing touch with special people who have had such a profound effect on you, is no different from having your heart broken after a relationship ends. These people have shared some of your most amazing and special moments with you and now you barely even talk. The odd like on Facebook or Instagram is all this incredible friendship has amounted to and as the memories of the trip slowly fade, you wonder if any of it was really real. The important thing to remember is people come in and out of our lives constantly and the power of connection lies within our hands.
Making the friendship last
If there is one piece of advice I can give you it is, try your hardest to stay in touch with those who have held an important place in your heart. One of the best feelings we can experience as humans is our connection with others.
1. Meet up in each other's home towns.
I cannot even describe the excitement you feel as you walk towards a friend in a new place, a year after you last saw them. I have seen a few friends since being home, in London and Prague. The memories will flood back and you will quickly pick up where you left off.
I was not lucky; I was proactive. I stalked friends Facebook pages and when I saw they were close I would jump in their inbox and ask them if they wanted to meet. I took a friend up on their offer to visit them in their home town, an offer that was made a year beforehand. It is not always possible, but sometimes you have to push yourself a little harder to make sure you stay in touch!
Try and organise a reunion with some of your pals. Not everyone will be able to attend, but someone has to get the ball rolling, so why not you? Reach out and see who fancies a trip down memory lane. Your friends are travel enthusiasts, they live for adventure, and I bet most will jump at the chance. Pick a place and throw some ‘feelers’ out there and see what transpires!
3. Send them a message.
With the speed that we are able to type at these days, it would literally take you a few minutes to put together a message and press send. I love receiving an out of the blue message from friends that I have not spoken to in a while. We all have our own lives to live, but keeping in contact with those people can really help to keep you grounded to that amazing time in your life. Plus you never know what opportunities and ideas can come from those friendships!
If you want to go one better… call them. A voice or video call will probably completely throw them but I bet they would be so happy to see your face or hear your voice. Be prepared to get all nostalgic.