A few days ago, my ex-boyfriend texted me to inform that he’s on the way back home to Prizren before heading to Austria. After we broke up, we remain a good friend for each other and it is great.
For sure, we no longer text each other all day long and I don’t have to be frustrated by him for scolding me as we watch Croatia vs Kosovo football match on TV in each other’s place. But once a lover, we always check on each other whenever we hear something big on the news happening in either Istanbul or Jakarta.
And recently, he informed me that he’s leaving Istanbul for good and he told me that if I’m up for coffee and conversation, then I can find him somewhere in Austria as his door is always open for me.
His text inspired me to write this post and now I have a question for all of you. From the scale of 1-10, how good are you at maintaining your friendship? And what do you do to keep the sparks of friendship remain?
I am the kind of person who finds it hard to befriend anyone, and socializing is not really my favorite thing to do. But one thing that I can admit, my passion in traveling helps me to reconnect with my old friends.
I didn’t notice how traveling could help me maintain my friendship with my friends until my Mom noticed that I often met some friend I have met somewhere whenever I traveled somewhere. So then I could validate the fact how helpful traveling is in reconnecting me with them.
My first experience to live alone is back when I was 21, I moved to Izmir for a few months to learn Turkish during the summer. Not only that it was my first time flying as a passenger (I even asked my Mom before I got on board about how it felt to fly in the airplane by then!), it was also the first time for me to live away from my parents and family. Not to mention that it was also my first time to travel and live abroad.
During my time in Izmir, I met not only new Turkish friends but also other international students who live in the same dormitory as I do. A bunch of them.
After graduated from university, my first airline job in the #1 World’s Low-Cost Carrier as Guest Service Assistant had me relocated to the central part of Java, Semarang. As a newcomer in Semarang, not only that I gained some Javanese friends, but most of my colleagues are also from other cities like Surabaya, Makassar, and even Medan.
Being a Sundanese myself, I learned a lot about the diversity of Indonesia as a nation while also grasped some rude words in my friends’ dialect. Pretty handy as I could at least fake Makassar accent quite well by now. :p
Quitting my job as Guest Service Assistant, I failed to get a scholarship for my Master’s degree in Turkey and accidentally got the job as a flight attendant for my second airline. And this time, I was relocated to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
I found it a blessing in disguise as Jeddah was closer to Istanbul, where my ex-boyfriend resided then. So even when I just reached Jeddah, I directly e-mailed the operation telling them that I would take off days in November. I used that November to fly to Istanbul and reunite with my then-boyfriend and met my good friends Vika who’s now living in Mersin.
So when I decided to go back home to Indonesia, I never really thought that I could easily reconnect with some old friends that I met before, especially those who live abroad.
To my surprise, I have managed to reconnect with more old friends than I thought I would through traveling.
From meeting John randomly in Hong Kong, planning out holiday in Bangka-Belitung Islands with my ex-roommate to even visit the other ex-roommate in Bangkok for my holiday. If that’s not enough to amuse you, I was even assigned as one of the bridemaids in the wedding day of Sya, a Malaysian girl I met through Myspace.
See, the way I see it, traveling helps me to reconnect with my old friends while I can also gain more new friends in the journey.
As someone who often goes solo, it is just naturally easy for me to connect with people during my travel. From the classic of getting lost to just casually respond to other travelers’ conversation on the bus, been there done that and I’m glad.
For now, I think it’s fair to say that I will travel as much as I can not only for the sake of exploring the world, but also to reconnect with those that I know in the past. To actually have a high-quality friendship every now and then.
Because after all, as a traveler, not only the world that we need to explore. Beyond that, there are love and emotions around that we also need to take care of. Those two combined, rest assure you will have a history of your life.
-Marya the BeauTraveler-