The Perks of Long-Distance Friendships


...AND HOW TO KEEP THEM ALIVE

Hint: it involves traveling. Yup, you guessed it.

As it often happens, the four years I spent pursuing my undergrad degree were some of the best of my life. By the end of my very first week in college I had already met four of my lifelong best friends AND (unknowingly at the time) my fiancé/father of my child - a sweet story for another day.

Going away to college isn't a common practice in Brazil, where I was born and raised. There, you generally study locally and live with family. In fact, some view the practice of moving away for college as too drastic and even heartless. I, however, am so thankful for the  opportunity. Was it scary? Yes. Was I completely out of my comfort zone? Heck yes. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Moving away, even for just a bit, is a chance to be exposed to people and things that are so utterly different from yourself that the experience itself becomes a course in culture and diversity. I got to learn and see things I otherwise would have never known (and I'm not just talking beer pong and keg stands).

Attached at the hips was a literal saying for us.

ABOUT MY SOUL SISTERS

Our families and backgrounds include the Middle East, Central and South America, Ireland, Italy, New England, North Carolina, Florida. We all grew up differently and far apart, yet we have so much in common! We became each other's family and I believe that is at the core of my incredible college experience. We danced, played, explored, hiked, biked, kayaked, went caving, road-tripped, you name it.

Daytona Beach, FL

Then just like that, the party was over - Here's your diploma, now run along. Graduating was one of the most bittersweet experiences of my life. Back then I lived within steps of my girls (and let's be honest, their closets) and graduating meant going our separate ways. And boy, did we. Collectively our group has lived in Qatar, South Korea, New York, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. You could view it as a curse, but with some positive thinking, it is the perfect chance to explore new cities and places with my favorites!

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge, NY


Over the years we have visited each other and met up in Tampa, South Florida, New York City, Austin, Denver, Pittsburgh, Asheville, Durham, and they've all come to visit me and my new family here in Arizona. We already have sweet summer adventures planned, and they include California beaches. Stay tuned!


Moundsville, WV

It's been a decade since we met (STFU), countless life changes, new jobs, a new baby, moves, break ups, family crisis, celebrations and quiet moments, and through it all we remain close. Yes, it is a lot easier since we have FaceTime, Google Hangout and Whatsapp at our disposal, but one thing has guaranteed our success: EFFORT. We have been making an effort to get together several times a year, whether for a night, a weekend, or if we're lucky, a week. It can be tough when we have a new momma in the group, some of us still in school, some educating and guiding the future of America, and others busy helping orchestrate events such as the TriBeCa Film Festival. 


The newest and tiniest member of our group.

Life moves fast, and it's easy to succumb to the culture of being too busy. It's easy to have friends fall through the cracks, especially as adults. So I say make the most of your relationships, plan adventures, getaways, and heck, just call each other. The support and love you receive from true friends is unlike anything else in this life, so let them know.


Sedona, AZ

What about your best friends? Share stories, tips, and love below!

This post is part of #WeekendWanderlust link up at A Brit and a Southerner, where you can find even more awesome travel inspiration!

All images on this blog are property of Travel the Unbeaten Path. Please do not use without permission.

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14 comments:

  1. Our little chosen family is by far the best thing that has ever happened! I'm so grateful for all that we have and all that is yet to come! Beautiful encapsulation of our journey so far; excited for our next adventure!

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    1. I love you and I can't wait to see you so so soon!

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  2. I tried to comment but was on my phone and not sure if it worked so commenting again! I love this post! It's so important to put the effort in to maintain these friendships. One of my closest friends lives in NYC and visiting her is a great excuse to go up there and have some fun.

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    1. Thanks Jen! How fun is it to have a friend in NYC? Best ever.

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  3. I didn't know you were born and raised in Brazil! That's neat.

    This serves as a good reminder. We get so "busy" these days. A baby almost made me fall of the face of the earth! Learning the new life balance.

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    1. Haha yup, born and raised! And same here, first few months of new baby were strictly survival mode. Getting a little more manageable to balance each day, I would say!

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  4. What a fun trip and very cool that you have so many close friends! I wish my BFF could come visit me in Germany all the way from Hawaii... we will see!

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    1. Oh wow that would be a fun and memorable trip I'm sure...hope it happens!

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  5. isn't it just priceless to have friends who live miles away but only physically? I think it takes a lot of effort but such friendships are the most precious ones.

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    1. I love the way you put it - "only physically" - and yes it is priceless! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. My college friends are all spread out too, but not internationally, that is challenging! Thanks for the awesome reminder, I hate when "busy" gets in the way. So glad to have found your blog, your layout is lovely! :)

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    1. Thank you Megan, I feel the same way about your blog! Already added to my must-read list. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I'm about to graduate from college and separate from my best friends. It's scary and sad right now, so I'm inspired by you and your ability to keep these friendships alive! It's definitely something I want to work hard for once graduation comes.

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    1. Hi Caroline, I'm confident you guys can make it work too! Best of luck to you and this new (and a bit scary, right?) chapter of your life!

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About the Writer

I'm Louise, a Tampa Bay based Brazilian-American travel blogger. Join us as we learn and share the ins-and-outs of traveling with a toddler and our sweet rescue pup Oreo, while promoting local nonprofits and wellness along the way.