‘Every brunette needs a blonde bestfriend- Oh, and a little bit of Barcelona.’
When deciding upon a blog topic I found myself sharing ideas with my bestfriend. This was in the midst of sweating profusely at the gym, looking like a very hot and bothered baked potato. This thought leads nicely to my first point- spontaneity. Often, the best ideas are created from random conversations, conversations that lead to those little light bulb moments. The more I shared my ideas with Jordan, the easier it became. I was simply reminiscing about Barcelona and the friendships that I have gained recently. That is when it clicked. I felt the urge to write an appreciation post for the friends that I care deeply about. Especially those who I have made incredible and long lasting memories with over the past couple of months. Starting with a cheeky Spanish adventure to Barcelona.
Friendships are incredible. As social species we need others to survive, to feel a true sense of connectedness. Being in the company of others helps us to feel accepted, to feel safe and most importantly to feel loved. I have been thinking a lot about friendships lately, those that have the power to enlighten any mood. True friends have seen us at our worst and seen us at our very best but most importantly have been there to elevate our spirits. We have friendships that we have nurtured from a very young age. Those relationships are special but those that we form later in life are just as precious. I am thankful for a lot of aspects of my life and when times become tough I am especially grateful for my inner circle. We know exactly when we click with someone. Someone who is on our wavelength and shares similar interests to us. Usually, it is difficult to locate these types of friends as we are each very unique. However, I believe that those personalities that mesh perfectly make the best kind of relationships. Jordan Patterson, this is my blog post for you.
Veni, Vidi, Vici.
According to friends, family and social media, travelling alone is one of the best experiences that life can offer. At 21, I have yet to explore another culture solo, yet it is something I am not ashamed of. I know that I have many years ahead of me to explore the beauty of the world, it is a daunting yet exciting thought really. I would like to share one of the best experiences of my life to date, which consisted of an adventure to Barcelona with a bestfriend. Deciding upon a location to travel to was not hard as we both agreed that Barcelona looked so dreamy. In addition, we are both HUGE foodies. We are the type of girls that think about where we are eating and when- all of the time. There may have been a small percentage of hanger involved on our trip but that is a subject that we prefer to avoid talking about!
5 inevitable things that will happen when you travel with a bestfriend:
I believe in being spontaneous. As much as I do like to plan, I am probably the most random out of my inner circle of friends. However, it is very rare that you find somebody that matches that inner freak and equally not afraid to show it. When I met Jordan a couple of months ago we really ‘hit it off,‘ as they say. Now I am really making us sound like an old married couple and I would just like to clarify that Jordan is taken. In fact she is engaged and I am bursting with excitement for her! When telling others that we had planned a city trip to Barcelona, they questioned our friendship, ‘have you not only known each other for a couple of months?’ You see, I believe that the duration of time that you have been close to someone does not matter. It is the quality of that relationship in the present moment. If that person makes you happy, makes you laugh, hold them close. Jordan is a beautiful person, inside and out and we instantaneously bonded following our first conversation (which I am sure consisted of talking about donuts, winner).
It is important to give value to those who give value to you. Travelling with someone that you have a lot of time for really will put your relationship to the test. Being friends with somebody is one thing but travelling with them is a different story. The inspiration for this blog is based upon the countless laughs and good times that we had. There was not a day that went by that we did not have one major giggling fit- an attractive sight really. Therefore, I would love to share 5 things that inevitably happen when travelling with a true friend- be prepared for a lot of planned and unplanned photographs- oh and many foodie shots of course!
Stepping out of your comfort zone- I’ll do it if you do it:
When we travel, we like to push ourselves. This was my first trip abroad with a friend which made the experience even more exciting and interesting. Jordan and I have a very similar sense of humour which I believe is why we are so close. One of us just has to say something completely ridiculous and the tears are rolling down my cheeks for half an hour afterwards. There are many aspects of our lives and personalities that set us apart of course. However, it is important that we learn from a friendship, whether that is the platonic or romantic kind. We both decided that we should experience ‘Hostel life’ whilst staying in Barcelona which was the best decision. It was great meeting people from different parts of the world and sharing cultures. As two random girls, we wanted to do something together that would mark our trip away. Thankfully we dodged the cliché ‘let’s get matching tattoos’ idea at 3am on one very spontaneous night. Never the less, we settled for ear piercings- wild.
You will start to say the same things:
For me, adopting a friend’s vocabulary or slang is a first level friendship achievement. We don’t even realise we have adopted mannerisms from others until we spend quality time together. It’s weird and it is often creepy, however I believe that it is one of the most powerful indicators that you truly know a friend well. You are comfortable in their presence which is incredibly important. Friends are great at pointing out our flaws when needed but they are even better at lifting our spirits. It was great walking around the ancient city streets of Barcelona, mocking each other’s slang words and living our best 21-year old selves.
Food, food & more FOOD- you will eat your body weight.
Yes it is true, friends are the worst and best influences when making food choices. You will gain 3 stone in weight, but I can guarantee that you will burn it off laughing or walking around whilst lost. Just to reiterate this point, I love eating. Jordan loves food as much as I do and so it made choosing where to eat very simple. On our first night we decided to eat on ‘Las Ramblas’ where we very naturally embraced the Spanish culture-ordering two very large Pizzas which did not last for very long at all. The Sangria counts as Spanish cuisine, right?
‘Brunch and Cake’ is a small artisan café that we happened to stumble across on our wonderings. If you are thinking of visiting Barcelona I highly recommend this gem as their pancake stacks, waffles and cakes are out of this world. The best way to explore Barcelona’s food scene is disregarding all plans. Planning is great when travelling but when thinking about somewhere to eat, it is best to stumble across hidden gems. Hanger was beginning to consume us again on our last night and by chance Jordan spotted an amazing Mexican Burrito Bar. Again, not very cultural but a great find whilst drinking a few Coronas and watching the Barcelona sun go down.
Lights, camera, action- you will take MANY photographs.
I have no shame in posting travel photographs. Little and often however as there is always that risk of posting only our ‘best selves’ online. There is an element of travel photography that is special but when travelling with a friend, be prepared for some locations to transform into a low-key photo shoot. By no means am I suggesting that you base your entire trip around trying to take the most perfect and aesthetically pleasing shot. That is no way to live or experience somewhere new. Both Jordan and I are strong believers in living in the moment (live, laugh, love) but in all seriousness it is so much better experiencing the beauty of Barcelona first hand. Not through the lens of modern technology. However, we are both guilty of sneaking in a few beach photographs which was very hard to avoid given the beautiful climate and scenes. Being close to a friend means forming a little photography team, knowing which angles and shots suit best. Several months have passed and we are still posting beach photographs on our Instagram accounts- they will eventually stop, sometime!
You will gain a true friend for life:
Travelling with a best friend taught me a lot about myself. It taught me to be more patient, more resilient and more understanding. Travelling with a best friend means opening your heart to compliments, constructive criticism and endless conversations filled with love, memories and laughs. Travelling really does put our relationships to the test and if you truly want it to work, it more than likely will. You are in each other’s space for several days and when you reach a point of not holding anything back, you know you have found someone very special. There is great comfort in knowing that your inner circle of friends will always be here for you. To support you and to cherish you. In life, we need friends to support our ideas and achieve a sense of connectedness to the world around us.
As much as I enjoy my own company, travelling with a bestfriend was incredible. If you are thinking of travelling around the world solo, do it. If you are thinking of travelling with a partner, even better. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, yet all we need to do is embrace them and accept them. Acceptance is key. Make good out of every dull situation and explore every opportunity that is presented to you. I would like to thank my inner circle of friends who are always here. Always keen for a chat, laugh, cry or trip to eat food (obviously). That sense of loneliness that you experience when you return home from a trip away? This simply reminds us that we are invested in that friendship. It is real. Life can teach you a lot of valuable lessons, but it is our friends and sense of self that keep us afloat. Thank you Jordan, for keeping me sane but equally insane. I am proud to call you my bestfriend and I know that the bond that we have formed through our travels will last for a lifetime! Those who travel together, stay together.
Now, let me just check Sky Scanner!
Kathryn Bigger is a final year student on the BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations at Ulster University. She can be contacted on: Instagram – the_fashion_fairypr / Twitter – @KatieB_05 / LinkedIn- Kathryn Bigger.