Friendship connections are key in my life. My friends have seen me through some tough times, from losing my parents too young, to moving to a foreign country alone. My friends have been with me through relationships and through financial struggles, including a short sale on my dad’s house; after paying for two houses for more than three years. I have excellent friends and they have been there for me when I’ve needed them, they still are. Today my Live a Little post highlights friendships in my life and how they help me Live a Little every day.
Bonds of Friendship
The reality is that sometimes I am closer to my friends than I am to members of my family. That isn’t deliberate, but more about my choice to live abroad. Living as an expat in multiple locations around the world, means you develop very close friendships. Your friends essentially become your family. In addition when you choose the lifestyle of an expat not everyone in your family embraces it, understands it, or likes it. When I accepted my first overseas job my family had mixed reactions. Some were happy for me, others thought I’d lost my mind and still others were skeptical. Friendships are key in moments of life when you step out on your own, and especially when you move to the beat of your own drum. My friendships fall into several categories and they are all important to me.
My Oldest Friends
My friend Renee has been my friend since I was 13 years old. We know each others lives in and out. She knows my family, she’s met the men in my life and she understands me. I treasure her friendship and I appreciate that her family has embraced me and been a support as I make my transition to finding a job overseas.
I met my friend Pam in college, she lived down the hall from me in my co-ed dorm. We have known each other through the stress of college exams, boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands and my many moves around the world.
The Guam Girls
Then there are the Guam Girls, these are the women I met when I made my first international move. We all met in our first days and weeks on the island of Guam. We have stayed close over the years and the last few years we’ve made it a point to get together annually for a three or four day weekend of fun, now with husbands and families in tow. These women went through the same crazy move to an island in the Pacific experiences I did. We taught in many of the same schools and traveled together throughout the Pacific. We learned together about life as an expat. One of the Guam girls and I, Myscha have also made the same work/life transitions with continuing to move around the world. She too has embraced a career transition of writing as well as pursuing educational jobs. That has deepened our friendship.
Bonding Through Shared Grief There is a deep and shared understanding of love and friendship between my friend Lisa D and I. I call her my soul sister. I met Lisa when we were both new teachers in Hawaii, at a Japanese Buddhist school. We started our jobs at the same time and both of our mothers had been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Our friendship began as a shared pain, and a deep understanding of what the other faced. We remain good friends. Though she lives in Hawaii and I haven’t seen her in years, I love her dearly and treasure her friendship.
The Berlin Bond
That’s what I call my friendship with Susan, Kevin and Carol. They were part of my original orientation group of teachers hired to teach in Berlin, Germany. There is little that creates a stronger bond than serious life changes. Try moving to a foreign country alone, where you don’t speak the language and every day is a BIG adventure. You will rock your friendships.
You will be there for each other when you can’t figure out your internet service, when you can’t read the menu, and when you try to pantomime the right washing machine hose needed at the German version of Home Depot. You laugh together and you cry together; you bond and the friendships that are lasting. Susan knows me like few people do, and I treasure my friendship with Susan and her husband Kevin.
Carol and I were both single women and we developed a close friendship through our love of travel, fun and exploring. I treasure her friendship and those of many others I have known around the world and in my own home state. There are many more friends who share special moments in my life. Cathy Busch, Dory Chang, Kathy Rodondi, Pam Hoose, Dave Cruz, Ginny Corey, Sandra Foster Edwards and Patty Brightbill, you all come to my mind. You have shared laughter, dinners, phone calls, insight and friendship. I appreciate all of it and each of you.
A New Chapter
When my dad died unexpectedly, I was forced to move back to the states from Germany on 12 hours notice. I had exactly three friends in the Tampa Bay area. They were overseas friendships that really helped me. In addition to that my dad’s girl friend Cathy introduced me to her girl friends and over time the four of them became treasured friends of mine. They’ve shared their lives, their insight and their friendship with me.
New Connections and Friendships
My love of travel and writing has given me opportunities to make new connections and build new friendships through press trips and shared travel experiences. I meet other women and men who love the same things I do and that’s added to my blessings. My friendships really are a staple of my life. Friendships are one way I Live a Little and treasure life. How are you going to Live a Little this week? Join us at Skimbaco Lifestyle and share your post about how you are embracing life to Live A Little