(For those of you who forgot your language lesson from acouple months ago, that’s Swahili for “Thanks Friend”)
From the Chicken bus to the Ryndam...
The never ending bracelet collection...
The disturbingly great number of "romantic" dinners...
Or pondering the thoughts of how amazing our trip has been - often not much spoken, but so much said...
Whether climbing one more mountain just to keep it interesting...
Or testing the limits of our friendship in a rental car on the "wrong" side of the road...
Just over a year ago I told you I was quitting my job and moving back to Minnesota. When you asked why, I told you of my “yet-to-be-determined, hope to go for longer than three weeks” travel plans. You had a better idea… “How about I quit my job, too, and we can travel together. We can go around the whole world!”
It’s impossible to believe that in less than a week our trip around the world will find us back in the United States, soon in new apartments and returning to work and once more becoming contributing members of society.
As I sit here, at our hostel in Akureyri, you’re on the other side of the table from me, furiously working on a blog post about “How to maintain a 24-hours-a-day, 7 days a week friendship.” I’m not surprised we’ve managed to stay friends all this time. Though sometimes I’m not certain how we did it, I do have a few ideas:
One of us always manages to remain the optimist. Neither of us is any good at holding a grudge. If someone chooses to be a jerk you let it go, get over it, and we talk about it later. And we’re both funny.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this unforgettable experience wouldn’t have been anywhere near as awesome as it was without you, on both ends and in the middle of it. Your endless confidence in our ability to navigate new countries and unknown cities within, to understand bus schedules in foreign languages and to climb mountains in soaking wet gym shoes are just some of the reasons behind some of the best memories of this trip.
We’ve done so many things together, things that have already become stories I will tell for the rest of my life: Surviving the Chicken Bus, surviving Asian food poisoning, completing Annapurna Base Camp, fending off mean monkeys in India, summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, racing around Santorini on four wheelers, chasing a departing cruise ship, driving in the UK and snorkeling between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are just a few.
Thank you, Michelle.
You are my friend forever.
You are my sister.
Where should we go next?