When it comes to friends, I consider myself very fortunate to have close friends who would bend over backwards for me (and I would do the same for them) and a wide circle of friends who also encourage and support me (and I hope they feel I do the same for them, too)! I’ve never really had a problem meeting people – I disguise my shyness with endless talking (really, it doesn’t end) and I am very good at feigning confidence in social situations. I like to listen to people and hear their stories, just as I like to talk and tell my own stories. I’ve never been worried about not having someone to talk to as making conversation is not something I’m afraid of!
There are friends who come and go at different points in your life; friends who part ways because life has changed and you drift apart. There are friends who know so much about you that not having them in your life is simply not an option. There are work friends who you meet in the kitchen for a giggle and have after-work drinks with before parting ways for the weekend. I even have what I like to call “Internet friends” – people who I know through online conversations and reading their blogs. I’ve got friends I met travelling, friends from work (who moved the giggling from weekdays in the kitchen to the cafe at weekends), friends from school, friends from online … and now I have a strange new group of friends. Friends who have done the same crazy thing I have and packed up and moved countries. Because we can. Because we want something different. An adventure. Travel. A slower pace without “missing out”.
It is amazing to arrive in a new country and know no one (not even my boss – we’d never met until I stepped off the plane) and then, barely a week later, have such strong connections with people and know that these will be friends for life. Regardless of how I might categorise any of my friends – work, travel, school – they all have something in common: they are my hand-picked family.