Who wouldn’t want to travel the world, right? But what about leaving your friends behind?
That would be tough. Guest Blogger KATHLEEN VENTURA shares her friendship lessons on maintaining those friendships, even when you’re a world away because … Distance means so little when friendship means so much. (Unknown)
About two years ago I made a decision that would change my life and all of the relationships in it for forever. My husband and I decided to save our money, sell everything we owned, quit our jobs and travel the world.
This meant that all of my girlfriend relationships were about to be turned upside-down. Not only was I physically moving away from them, I was about to lead a life very few of them 1) understood, 2) could relate to, or 3) supported. Like any major change in the journey of life, some friendships stay with us and some have run their course. That is the beauty of friendships, right?
Many women deal with the challenges of moving away and redefining relationships. Finding a balance in talking on the phone more and planning out the occasional visits to see each other. There are also challenges when making new friends as an adult in new places. My situation was that I wasn’t going to be near anyone for occasional visits and I wasn’t exactly going to a new place with a community for making girlfriends.
Additionally, not only did I have to deal with changing friendships, I had to realize how badly I needed girlfriends that ”got me” on this new path I had chosen as a nomad. It was tough to converse with my girlfriends back home about most parts of my new lifestyle: being exhausted from flying so often, running a business remotely, and spending 24/7 with my husband every single day.
Thankfully, early on this journey of perpetual travel as a real-life nomad I found friends online! Digital friends, if you will. Until this point I had never actually “met” someone online and forged any kind of relationship at all. But, I began to encounter other couples our age living just like us, and we could all relate well to each other.
The first girlfriend I made this way is someone I would actually consider to be one of my best friends. But, we have never met in person. Ever! She and I talk online every single day, and she is like family to me. I have never hugged her or shared a meal with her, but she has been my rock for over a year now.
When work is draining, language barriers are frustrating, and immigration officers are grumpy, we vent to each other since we are doing the same things. And, when we have major professional successes, learn to love a new country, and land our dream house-sitting assignment, we are there celebrating with each other! Helping promote each other’s businesses, cheering each other on. We have cried together, shared personal stories, and laughed about fun cultural differences. We can come to each other when we find it frustrating to stay fit on the road and find healthy food. We come to each other when the husbands are driving us insane. We come to each other with just about anything all girlfriends come to each other for.
Every single day, regardless of the time-zone differences I know if I turn on my computer she will be there to lend an ear and understand me in ways most of my friends can’t.
This relationship was just the first and strongest of all of my digital friends, but I also have a close circle of other girlfriends in the online world that I love. Most of us are from different countries and all different ages, but the support we give each other when we don’t have the luxury of good girlfriends being with us in person is invaluable.
I’m fortunate to have my hubby with me as I move around, but really, husbands aren’t the same as girlfriends. We all have it in our nature to want to have girlfriends in our life; to have that female energy, love, and connection. To talk fast when we are excited, share victories with enthusiasm, and giggle about the latest Ellen episode.
One of the coolest parts of my life is the relationship I have with my digital girlfriends. I trust them with my life, and practice gratitude for the gift of their friendship always. My digital bestie and I are actually planning a trip together next year to celebrate her 40th and my 30th birthday and meet for the first time! It will be an emotional celebration and I can’t wait!
Have you ever created an unexpected bond with someone you’ve never met? Do you think having digital friends is odd or surprisingly normal these days?
KATHLEEN VENTURA is a life coach and nomadic traveler. She believes in living with intention and purpose, and that your dream life starts when you have the courage to pursue it. As a life coach, she helps women who feel stuck create outstanding lives for themselves. Sign up for her newsletter .
Do you have DIGITAL GIRLFRIENDS? How have you met? Bonded? Shared life? Share below in the comments.
And, if you’d like to be a guest blogger, check out this info on how to guest blog on Girlfriendology.