Travel recharges me. A new atmosphere, a breath of fresh air and a new place to wander – it recharges my tired mind. But friends and travel combined together is what really recharge my soul to 100%.
“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
My masters has its quirks, it has allowed me to live in different countries. The last two were France and Romania. Although it was difficult to adapt in the first days, I always had a shoulder to cry on and to back me up. We’ve been through difficulties together but more over we have shared so many unforgettable moments together. When you are living in a foreign country, your friends become your family.
As we entered our last semester, we moved to different countries for our individual internships. I am lucky that in Zürich, I have one friend from my programme. However it’s not school. You don’t get to see your friends all day long, laugh and do things together. I miss being in a group of friends, I miss cooking and eating together, I miss all things with them. So, it has been hard for me to accept that I was alone.
When the Easter weekend approached, a group of my friends decided to visit Grenoble – where most of my friends were for their internship. I didn’t think twice, I wanted to be there, even for just a few days, I needed to recharge.
What a perfect weekend it was for me. I started with Lyon, meeting one of my best friends in the masters. It was so nice to catch up with him, talking and eating together, just like the old times. In the evening I already arranged a date with another close friend of mine, we watched Ludovico Einaudi. It was such a perfect concert, one which deserves its own post. The evening was closed by the three of us having dinner at a restaurant by Bellecour in Lyon. I wanted to hug the both of them, for making me so happy and overwhelmed by their presence.
The next day we made our way to Grenoble to see the rest of our friends. Picked up from the train station by another best friend of mine, we were so happy to see each other. Grenoble was just a perfect place for this great reunion. The mountains surrounding the city made me smile and even more that I had all my beloved friends there with me.
After a lot of hugging with friends coming from Barcelona and the rest of the Grenoble gang, we were welcomed by Romanian cuisine prepared by my friend. With homemade Romanian wine on my hand, we talked and talked like we haven’t seen each other for years. I felt so blessed to have this group of friends.
What’s special about my group is that we are from different parts of the world: Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Iran, Pakistan, Poland, Mexico – but we had things in common: our masters, sense of humour, the urge to make fun and push each other to the limit and of course love! Our group is a noisy one with lots of jokes and laughs whenever we are together, but there are also moments of serious talks which makes me think that I’m in a sea of geniuses. We also like to challenge one another. This weekend, I was challenged by them to get out of my comfort zone. One of my friends told me that “you have to get out of your comfort zone at least once a week” – I agree with him that we have to let ourselves taste something different every now and then. It was ice-skating. I don’t ice skate, the last time I went, I made a complete fool of myself holding onto the railing trying not to fall and being passed by little kids who looked like pro to me. There is nothing I hate most than looking like a complete idiot. Whilst shaking my head endlessly, they finally convinced me.
Nothing changed, I still couldn’t skate and I wanted out in the first 5 minutes. One of my friends, who was pretty good in ice skating, grabbed my hand and taught me patiently. I felt bad that I had taken his fun time to teach me, but he didn’t mind. For the next 2 hours, he showed me the tricks in ice-skating and what to do. Sometimes, he would take some time off from teaching me where another friend came and held my hands and helped me practiced what I have learned from my “teacher”. Words of encouragement were heard from my other friends. This is why I love them, we have never had competition between us, in fact we have been supporting one another from the beginning. Even for little things, like ice-skating.
At the end I didn’t become a professional, but I was advancing. My steps were better and I actually had fun despite the fact that I fell a few times. I actually want to ice-skate again in the future.
The weekend flew so fast filled with food, great view of Grenoble from Bastille, a lot of laughter and meaningful conversation. When I had to say goodbye to them, I was too sad. I didn’t let myself cry, I just hugged them tighter.
I continued my reunion with another best friend, who was also my travel companion while we were living in Nantes. She was travelling in Switzerland and we decided to meet in Luzern. Secretly she is my hero, she has always been so confident in travelling alone and I adore her for it. We met and talked a lot, well I talked a lot, and it was just so good to be able to catch up. In fact, we planned our Summer trip together this year which I sense is gonna be awesome.
As the long weekend ended, I know that I have been recharged to 100%. I have been pushed to the limit, laughed till my stomach hurts, dove into conversation which made think, and enjoyed every millisecond with them.
I am also faced with the fact that as this masters is ending soon, I will also have to bid adieu to them. Meaning that we will be spread in different parts of the world that maybe we won’t get to see each other as much as we would like to, and even it might be impossible to gather us in a group like this weekend. As this fact hit me in the face, it always manages to spill a tear. After two years of being together, I know I will have to let them go. I know that life goes on and that the lessons and moments I had with them will always be in a special place in my heart.
For now, I’m just glad that they have recharged me. I went back to Zürich with a smile on my face, looking forward to our next meet up before the inevitable goodbye.
What recharges you the most?