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Best Friends Forever and Travel

October 08, 2012

Travel Friendships - connecting with an old friend in California


Can you travel as a lifestyle and still have best friends forever and long term friends? Yes, after 7 years of travel as a family on 5 continents to 44 countries so far, I can say amazing long term friends in three languages around the world has been one of the greatest benefits. A nomadic lifestyle with children can be rewarding on so many levels.

"We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a very social child, so I wasn't sure how this would work out when we started our location independent travel life in 2005 and started our non-stop world trip as a family in 2006. I've written about our experiences in Can Globe Trotting Kids Have Friends as well as giving more tips on  Kids, Friends, Travel on the Ultimate Family Adventure.

Her long term friendships are important to us, so along with her education and our family bonding fun, we've designed our travel so she could have these long term close friends as well as the many casual friends that we meet for shorter time periods on our travels.



best friends forever around the world

I loved this doodle in my 11 year old's notebook from Best Friends Around the World - Traveling with School Age Kids. Too cute how she unconsciously used her three languages in the description..using the Mandarin word for friends and Spanish word for world. Thanks to lots of slow travel and a little dipping into local schools combined with our homeschool, it helps her think like a global citizen in more than one mother tongue.

time to fix each others hair on a sleep over in Asia at our house

The top photo is of her with an old friend from California that lives in southern California, so she doesn't see her too often, but they've always had a great connection starting in babyhood. We've got photos and home movies of them together as babies, toddlers, preschoolers and young school age before we left. I wasn't sure what would happen with this meeting, but it was as if they had never been apart.

Her best friend in Asia, she met on her very first day at her Chinese High School when everyone was staring at her as they had never seen an American or Caucasian at the school before. This Chinese Malaysian girlfriend had spent many years in London, so probably had a lot of empathy and gave her good advice. They've been best friends ever since and don't miss an opportunity for a sleep over, movie, mall date or get together after school as they are not in the same grade.

She has a large group of friends here in Asia and really enjoys them all. Mozart is out going by nature, but I think our travel lifestyle has made her even better at making friends easily with all kinds of people. Most of the people on her BFF list, she has known for many years or most of her life, thus able to spend lots of quality time together building and reconnecting over many years, despite having some time apart.


Two best friends and a beloved dog in Barcelona

The only bad thing about having many homes around the world, is we always have some one dear to miss. As we enjoy our friends in Asia now, we miss our friends in Barcelona, Andalusia, London, Sweden  and California, but tech helps us keep in touch. Not only do we get to talk via webcam or facebook with our dearl friends in Barcelona, but we also get to hear this little dog that we all love. It's good to giggle together even at a distance!

This past weekend we talked to our dear friends in London who we met when we arrived in Spain as they were our first guests and treated us at their home in Malaga. Hard to believe the baby in diapers in those photos is now seven.

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Time speeds by when you have kids. Soon they will all be old enough to fly in for longer visits perhaps. Travel means good byes as well as hello to new adventure, but by doing long stays and returning regularly to places we love, we get to maintain long term friendships.

School in Spain with one American kid




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Jessica Holt

I like that she has 3 friends named Julia on 3 different continents. Never knew it was such a common name!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Isn't that funny, Jessica? I don't think Julia is a common name, just how it worked out. Interestingly, she also has an aunt named Julia and a great grandmother with that name. ;)

To be more accurate, the one in Asia uses it as her "English name" just as our child has chosen a name in Mandarin for her "Chinese name" ...so it is not her given name.

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