Recently, my friend Amanda came to visit me in London. After months of the ups-and-downs of settling into my new home base, it was nice to see a familiar face from my "old" life. During my first four months here, I texted Amanda almost daily, regaling her with bits of good news or venting about the not-so-great moments. When my dad fell ill in August and went in for emergency heart surgery, Amanda comforted me from across the ocean, saying she knew exactly how I felt being so far away from family and feeling helpless, but that I was doing the right thing by carving out my own path.
Before I even seriously thought of moving to London, Amanda was the one who put it in my head that this whole adventure could be possible. She'd also moved here somewhat out of the blue a few years after high school, and dealt with the same struggles adjusting to English life. She gave me advice on getting my visa and finding my own way here, and was one of the first people I messaged when I landed at Gatwick. Seeing her on my doorstep on her day of arrival felt strange--I hadn't seen her in four months--but also like it wasn't out of the ordinary at all. She'd returned to London, and we would take on the city like no time had passed at all.
We spent most of our time together gossiping, cackling, complaining and drinking our way up and down East London. Many cocktails were consumed, many strangers chatted with, and her six days here flew by in a whirl, but I am so grateful for the short visit I got.
I feel lucky to know that I have friends who will visit me, who will listen to me and be my shoulder to cry on, especially when that crying is caused from laughing too hard. Even though being here has made me feel so disconnected from my recent past, I'm glad that technology allows me to keep up with my friends from back home. While London in itself has become like a friend to me, the relationships I have with my girlfriends back in Canada will last until we're old and grey, complaining about our knees instead of guys, FaceTiming each other from our space pods (ha).
How lucky I am to have this scattered clan of chosen family, and I'll cherish every moment I get with my pals 'til I'm sitting in my retirement home and can't remember who the heck they are. Love you, Amanda, and to all my gal pals - I hope I see you soon!