Friday, July 9, 2010

Friends in Awesome Places

The absolute best excuse for traveling is having to visit a friend in a far-flung locale.

When one of my absolute favorite people, Josh, was living on Koh Tao, Thailand, working at a dive shop, I decided I probably had to take an open-water dive course.

Josh got me the "Friends & Family" discount, and a thatched bungalow a stone's throw from the ocean.

Josh later moved to Sydney, Australia, and what do you know? That was the one continent I hadn't yet visited. I had to go! Josh gave me the key to his apartment in Potts Point for a week and we spent time lunching in Sydney Harbor, exploring the Sydney Zoo, and celebrating Valentine's Day with too many mojitos and cupcakes. He also set me loose to explore the Great Ocean Road, and the Great Barrier Reef.

En route to Australia, I had to fly through San Francisco. I was faced with a 10-hour window of free time, so I rented a car and enjoyed breakfast with Sarah in Sausalito, lunch with Noreen up in Berkeley, and dinner back in the city with Ashleigh.

My friend Sally has a friend, Steve, who moved to Amsterdam, and yes, she had to visit him and I had to go with her.

You really do have to visit your friends in the Awesome Places. If your best friend from college moved to Germany and you haven't been to visit her? Go! Your most hilarious co-worker was transferred to Hong Kong, and wants to show you around Stanley Market? Go! You will never want to be the one uttering the sentence "Oh, I should have visited Julie when she had that enormous penthouse apartment in Paris..."

And, if one of said friends happens to be getting married in, and subsequently moving to, an Awesome Place, you pull your suitcase out of the closet and say "When do I have to be there?"

Kim (the blushing bride) is truly my favorite thing about flying through London. If she has to live there, I have to visit.

Now, the rest of you, get to work on relocating to the Maldives or Seychelles...or Majorca, Menorca, Capri, Sardinia...and I don't want to hear you whining "Do we have to?"