23 August 2022
Having international friends is one of the most rewarding things in the entire world. I think after my exchange I hardly made any friends who were from my own country, and if they were they were also involved with the international community. There is some thrill about meeting someone from a different place. They can tell you things you never knew you never knew. They can give you a different perspective on certain things, including yourself.
International friendships are rewarding because they make you realize who and what you really are because they are often so completely different from you. They make you realize that the world is bigger. They give room to all the other personalities that are inside of you.
Yet it is always at a certain cost. Amazing things always are. Having international friends, or friends who like to travel, means that you have to say good bye at some point. Having friends all over the world means that you never get to have ALL of your friends together.
I have been passionate about meeting from all over the world for as long as I can remember, but saying goodbye never gets easier. Every time I have to give someone a final hug for an uncertain amount of time, it tears me apart a little bit. I don’t think there has been a single good bye where I haven’t cried either before, during or after. Every friend I make takes a little piece of my heart when they have to leave.
Meeting people in or from another place makes for the most irreplaceable memories. Leaving those people behind doesn’t only mean you will leave them, but also that you will leave that place at that time and the way it was. It’s something special that makes that it is simultaneously great and sad.
I would be lying if I said I it wasn’t worth it. It is worth every single moment of sadness. I think the fact that the sadness is so real, so intense, is only an indication of how valuable those kind of friendships are. I think the fact that a relation with someone can overcome the difference in language, culture and distance means that it’s real. It means that two people are at the same so-called wave length. But I would also be lying if I said it gets easier. That you get used to it at some point.
But then again, the fact that it is so hard to physically say good bye to new friendships proves the value of it. International friendships are not better than national friendships, but they are different, and it’s the diversity that makes it so wonderful. And a ‘good bye’ should never be a ‘good bye’, it should be a “See you again, some place, some time“.
Friends are precious especially when they are from all over the world! Share with us your experience with your international friends in the comment section below!