I’ve talked before about the different types of friend we make on the journey of life, and how each type offers something different and complementary to help us feel complete. Well, last night I spent the evening with a group of people who I met two years ago whilst volunteering for Raleigh International in Borneo. In so many ways that was a pivotal time in my life. I had finally broken free of the emotional shackles of a previous relationship – four whole years after it ended – had quit my job and was at the start of a seven month adventure. I was, in short, feeling positive and excited about what the future held.
Not only did I meet the man who would become my boyfriend on that expedition, I also met a number of lovely people, all quite different to me, who I am still in touch with today. When we get together there’s a great feeling of nostalgia – we shared something so special during our time in Borneo. It wasn’t always plain sailing (far from it), but we made it through the ups and downs as a team, which is why I love getting together and catching up here in the ‘real’ world. It keeps me grounded, reminds me of how much we achieved and how sometimes strength of spirit really is enough to get you through the toughest of times – that and support from those around you.
So, last night a few of us met up in a quiet and unassuming pub in north London and had a proper catch up, some food, drinks and generally put the world to rights. It didn’t matter one bit that we’re all different ages and at different life stages, and that’s something I value about this type of friend – when you meet people travelling the only thing that matters is who you are, not how old you are, what you do or where you’re going. It’s all about you in that moment, and maybe that’s why this type of friendship, if you can sustain it after your travels have ended, is such a valuable thing to help you keep a sense of yourself long after you return.