Transient Friendships

In the short time, that I’ve been on this journey travelling the world; I have truly understood the concept of transient friendships and how it can make a huge difference in your life. I’ve grown to believe friendships are built to last, and then there are seasonal friendships. Seasonal friendships are there for a short period in your life and serve their purpose before you drift apart. This could be the friendship you form while at college, at university or a place of work. However, once someone moves on no matter how hard you tried to maintain that friendship because you no longer have that one thing which you had in common, the friendship fizzles out.

However, transient friendships are those you meet while travelling and form a temporary friendship with one goal in mind. To see the country together. I would not call it seasonal; as you know, this friendship will not last, as it’s based on you both being on holiday and would like company. You’ve both accepted the friendship will end as quickly as it started.

You meet a person while doing a tour and once the tour has finished, you spend the day together. Find other things to do. Find new places to eat. However, once the day is over, you return to your accommodation, and that is the end of the friendship. Is it friendship or someone you just met? It depends on you and that person. You could spend hours talking to each other and discuss aspects of your life you wouldn’t with those closest to you. At the end of it all, you don’t even remember their name because you never knew it in the first place or you merely forgot it the moment you heard it. For example, I met a woman while I was in Taipei and we spent the afternoon together. Almost two weeks later, I bumped into her in Kaohsiung; this is the south of Taiwan. We spent the afternoon together and then went our separate ways. I was not fazed or hurt by this as I had accepted this was a transient friendship when we met.

You meet people; you spend days with as you’re both in the same country for roughly the same amount of time. You connect on social media and makes plans with each other; you spend days together venturing to places you wouldn’t dear do on your own. It’s time to move to another country. The friendship ends.

Then you have that one friendship where you remain friends for life. You meet randomly: on tour, at a bar, at a restaurant or you’ve asked them to take a picture of you. These are the chance meetings where you have at least one thing in common, and that is to see the world. You and your new friend could live in different continents or countries but that bond you made when you first met each other survives time and distance.

A friend said to me, make a friend for each country you visit as you don’t know what joy they could bring to you. At first, I thought this was a weird thing to say, but I slowly understood why. As we get older it becomes harder for us to make friends; we are comfortable in our social circles and comfortable with the routines and expectations we have set ourselves. Time to shake it up and be braver. Make a new friend broaden your social circle to help you discover new things about yourself and new ways to enjoy yourself. I’ve accepted this challenge and can now say I have made one friend while here in Taiwan. I set the same challenge to you; in any country you visit, open your eyes, open your mind and open your heart and make that one friend that can survive distance and time.

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