I am that person who goes out of my way to visit friends in different places. It is always great to catch up with those dear to me in their homeland. I am always up for a visit to reconnect face to face and spend some quality time with them.
Travelling to visit with friends adds great depth to my experiences in their countries for a myriad of reasons. I love the eagerness of my friends to take me around to show me their cities, towns or sections of their countries. They make time to host me and go out of their way to ensure I have a great time. We make many awesome memories along the way and engage in the little things that all add up to enrich the experiences.
While travelling to visit a friend I have spent some wonderful weeks in Sri Lanka twice and engaged in many day to day activities that I wouldn’t have as a tourist. Some of these included staying with my friend at her home, visiting her relatives’ homes in different areas, eating some wonderful home cooked meals (so so much of these), eating at some local places, enjoying road trips from Colombo to Kandy, to Nuwara Eliya, to Galle and other places.
One of my favourite memories there was welcoming one new year at church, with loads of firecrackers, followed by a lovely breakfast at a nice little cafe in Colombo.
A few years ago I visited a friend in Toronto. I again experienced the city more intimately through her and others. We did many things that I would not do when travelling solo. A great memory was our impromptu bus trip to Montreal for a weekend. I don’t remember everything we did but I remember our longs chats, wandering around the city and spending quality time together. Plus, I was able to meet up with another friend there who took us around one afternoon.
I had been wanting to go off and see the Taj Mahal for a number of years. When I met a friend who invited me to visit her in Chennai, I took the plunge and killed two birds with one stone. After travelling for a few weeks in northern India I was able to explore a small section of the south with my friend and her family. It was enjoyable and educational. I was exposed to quite a range of southern Indian food. The Indian food that I knew consisted of mainly northern Indian dishes. The south is a great place to be vegetarian or vegan, so much tasty food.
I also enjoyed making some great memories with a friend in South Africa. Through her I was able to experience a braai with a lovely family, check out the night scene in Johannesburg and get a peek from a native’s standpoint.
Singapore is a city I enjoy visiting, so of course I travelled there to reconnect with a friend. That trip was so different from my previous solo trip. We explored off the beaten track and went shopping in some stores that would have been off my radar as a tourist. Singapore is easy to get around but navigating that city with a native really deepens the experience.
I am grateful to have made and continue to make friends who live all across the globe. As long as I can afford it, travelling to visit friends is something I want to continue doing. I benefit so much because I get to experience countries through the eyes of the natives, stay with my friends, eat home cooked meals prepared with love and deepen relationships at the same time.
The next friend I plan on travelling to visit is in Bogota, that will be an exciting city to explore. I am of course looking forward to catching up with my friend after a few years and making more memories.