On Visiting Old Friends

As I touched on in my last post, sometimes it’s a bit of a mystery as to how friends stay friends after years of being apart, despite having developing different interests and living completely different lives. 

Nienke is a good example of this. I found Nienke while at Elverum folkehøgskule, six months into my life in Norway and naiive as hell. Being a Dutch sailing/snowboarding girl, she had energy and attitude. I liked her. 

Elverum Folkehøgskole

Nienke and Inga being the sweethearts that they are… (2007)

I spent a lot of time with Nienke spring semester, and laughed through most of it. She was always offering her opinion…whether I asked for one or not. 

Come the end of the school year, Nienke was not a friend I was willing to let go of. We kept in touch and every year or so, we managed to meet up, usually in The Netherlands or Norway. She’s seen me go through massive changes in my life, and build my life from the ground up several times over. 

So when she said she was having a party for her 30th birthday in Amsterdam, needless to say, I was determined to be there. I booked my tickets months in advance (something I never do!). It was great to meet her Dutch friends and to catch up on the general state of life. Over the weekend, there was little talk of the smaller things, and more focus on the bigger picture. These trips always help me to focus on what makes me happy. She can always tell how I’ve actually been lately, even though it is usually a year in between every time we see each other.

Because having a friend like Nienke in life is someone everyone should have, I will take this opportunity to ask you: Are you happy? What are your ambitions for 2017? Is that guy you’re seeing treating you like the queen that you are? Why did you quit soccer when I know you love it so much? 

With friends around the globe, this is the way my life is, with friends just like Nienke. It’s a big part as to why I write this blog, because I want to keep in touch with all y’all out there who I love and miss. (Yeah, you!). Visiting friends is all about checking in, and I hope through this blog, that I can “check in” with so many of you that I miss. 

If you’re feeling lost or not sure about what to do next in life, visit an old friend who lives abroad (ahem, in Oslo, perhaps?!). Get that perspective. See a city like you never could see it as a tourist. Laugh and eat and drink weird things. Not everyone has a Nienke in their life, but I made sure to stick like glue to mine. Today she turns 30, and I feel like we’re just getting started.

Scottish Highlands

Us in 2016, in the Scottish Highlands

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