Have you made any special friendships while traveling? Why is it that when we are traveling we connect with people faster than in our everyday lives? Is it because when we are traveling we have blissfully stepped off the hampster wheel and have the time to really get to know someone?
In 2007, my husband and I went to South Africa for 3 months on a trip that we loving call our “Quarter Life Crisis.” We were in our late 20s and decided to quit our jobs, sell Kevin’s house (we weren’t married yet), and put everything in storage and go on an adventure together.
When we first arrived in Cape Town we met Jonathan from France who had just arrived for an internship. We spent the next week, along with some others we met from Iceland, surfing, going to see the penguins in Simon’s Town, eating out, and enjoying all that Cape Town has to offer. We all eventually returned to our home countries and over the past 12 years got jobs, got married, and had children but kept in touch via social media.
Fast forward to last month when my husband and I went to France for a Uniworld River Cruise. We reached out to Jonathan and planned to meet up when our ship was in Avignon. Jonathan took us to the restaurant at Hotel La Mirande ***** which was just awarded a Michelin Star this year! We enjoyed an 8-course lunch together (I don’t think I’ve ever had an 8-course lunch!) and got caught up on the past 12 years of each other’s lives. THIS is what I love about traveling! The friendships that you make seem to last forever no matter how much time passes. I have no doubt that we will see Jonathan again and next time with both of our families!
If you ever find yourself in Avignon I highly recommend treating yourself to a meal at Hotel La Mirande! “You cannot come closer to the essence of Avignon’s history than dining either in La Mirande’s most ancient room, where in the 14th century the cardinals treated the popes to dinner, or the restaurant’s garden adjacent to the impressive walls of the Pope’s Palace.” It was truly impressive and one of the best and most creative meals I’ve ever had!