The One With The Nostalgic Traveller.

Facebook ‘on this day’ kindly reminded me that this time last year I was in NYC having a fucking ball.

This year I was on a train at 6:20am. That got me all nostalgic for adventures before and excited for travels to come.

One thing I realised as I was scrolling through was that I travel differently now, that the reasons I visit places has changed. When I was in my early twenties I travelled because I could, I travelled to places so that I could see what was out there and maybe find my place in the world. I would never have dreamed about going back to the same place twice, why would you? There is so much world to see, I was always worried that it would never live up to my previous experiences. That view worked for a while, until it didn’t.

I’ve become a much more nostalgic traveller, I long to visit all of the places I’ve been to before BECAUSE I know they will rarely live up to my previous experiences; normally they surpass them.

When you first visit somewhere you’re a little bit blind to what to do, where to go, what is a must see vs what is a tourist trap. The second visit is a much truer version of the place – you know where you are, you know the things that you want to do rather than the things you feel you need to do because of the numerous ‘things to do in….’ lists in travel guides and on websites.

Travel has always given me a new perspective on things, there is something about being in a new place where you don’t know anyone that makes me reevaluate my life. The anonymity and no expectations of anyone that you meet or see (except those you’re with, but even those relationships feel different) give you a sense of freedom; or at least they do for me.

I have travelled a decent amount, not a much as some but definitely more than others. I’m so grateful to have those experiences and those friends that have come with me.

Here are a few of my favourites.

Valencia – The One That Changed It All

There is no way I could start this list with anything else. This temporary move to another country in 2010 with 3 girls I didn’t know is the one that changed it all and makes my heart smile the most.

I met my best friend in this city, realised that the Spanish really make everything better, fell in love and left a part of my heart behind.

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Derry – The One With The Hangover

This city is a home from home now as my Irish brother and mama live here, anywhere they are is home for me. The trip to celebrate St Patrick’s day way back in 2012 reminded me why I don’t drink much and that the Irish can party like no other. Highlights of this trip include me dancing by myself in a club with the flag wrapped around me and having to sit down in the shower the next morning because I felt like death.

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Barcelona – The One Where I Remembered How Much I loved Spain

When I got back from VLC after a week everyone, in the most passive aggressive ways possible, told me to shut up talking about it. When I went to Barcelona in 2011 with Momma Sophs, Jade and Wilf I remembered that all the reasons I kept harping on about Spain and the Spanish were valid and real. IT IS THE ONE OF THE BEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD AND YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND ON THAT OK.

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The American summer – The One That I Needed.

June 19th – Sept 10th in the USA with some of my favourite people. This trip was the one I needed. The break from life we all crave sometimes I was lucky enough to have. I realised a lot about myself, what I wanted, my limits and it gave me time to reflect on things that had happened and let go of things that were never meant to be. The house of Rincon Ave became my safe place that summer. We saw so much that summer it is hard to pick just one thing that makes it stand out. Without a doubt the best trip I’ve ever taken. Just wow.

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Paris 2015 – The One With Disney.

 That’s all you need to know really. 2 of my best friends. Disney. 5 days. It was perfect, I laughed so much, rediscovered my inner child (which is never really far from the surface) and met Peter Pan. Life was perfect at that moment.

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Cape Cod 2014 – The One Where I Realised Family Really Is Everything.

 The best part about this is that I wasn’t even with my family. Mark and I hijacked my American fam’s vaca and it was the best. They are such a big family, and their love for each other is bigger. I love being surrounded by them, hearing their in jokes, laughing at each other and being let in to their homes and making memories with them. They remind me that family is what really matters, the world may be chaotic but so long as you have that little hub to come back to it’s all ok. I just need to remind myself of that when my family piss me off!

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There are so many more trips that I could list but unfortunately I am running out of time as I gots places to be. I’m off to make memories with my family in the best country of all, the one I call home.

Happy Easter, pals

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Jade.

So, life has been a bit cray cray of late and I haven’t been the best type of friend because of this. I haven’t had much time to check in and hang out with my faves, which sucks for me as much as it must for them (because I’m such a neat guy, obvs).

So there I was yesterday, sat on the train on my way home from a meeting in Maidstone when my phone went off with a notification on ole Facey-B. It was my girl Jade:

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When Jade was blonde and I still had no eyes.

 

It got me thinking about the past 7 years and how much fun we’ve had. Everything we’ve been through together; university, travels, love and heartbreaks, birthdays, Christmases, deaths, births, weddings, moving countries…you name it, we’ve probably seen each other through it in the last 7 years.

I met Jade at university (Kingston Class of 2011, waddup!); we met in the October of our first year and have been BFF’s pretty much ever since. Jade is, in some ways, polar opposite of me but in other ways we are so very similar. Jade is legit the sweetest person you’ll ever met, to the point where people question her sincerity. They don’t believe that anyone can be THAT nice, but she is. I, however, am not nice 95% of the time – it’s just too much effort. Jade, like me, is very sensitive, but she wears her heart on her sleeve and doesn’t hide her feelings – I, however, try and hide them at all costs. We both can be super dorky (especially now I’m a Star Wars fan), enjoy cheesy movies (Say Anything is a fave), and have extremely varied tastes in music – I enjoy way too much cheesy pop for Jade’s taste though. Something she enjoys laughing at me for; she can laugh all she wants I will always have a place for One Direction on my iTunes and a place for Harry Styles on my celebrity crush list. More importantly than all that, I know she has my back, no matter what and we laugh so much together – normally at each other, to be fair. So many of my favourite memories from the last 7 years of my life involve her. I really couldn’t be without her.

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Boston, 2015. I don’t know why.

As I said previously, we have seen each other through a lot over the last 7 years, and so here is my trip down memory lane…

 

When I knew we were friends for the first time

 

I couldn’t tell you the exact moment that I knew we were really friends for the first time, but I can guesstimate. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a shared love or hate of something to help people bond. Jade and I were on placement together in our first year of university, and, without getting into it, let’s just say there was a teacher on our placement that was a bad egg. Honestly, she was awful. I thank my lucky stars for her and that awful experience because our shared dislike of this awful person was what really threw Jade and I together, we became a real team on that placement because we would never have finished that placement with our spirits in tact had we not.

There was also a night during that first year of uni that involved a very bad hypnotist, the SU bar, cider and Paramore songs. I remember waking up the next day with the third worst hangover of my life, feeling like death but thinking that she made it a cracking night.

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Jade and I at Griffith Observatory, August 2013.

The first time I knew she was a ‘ride or die’ type of friend

 

2011. June. I was just finishing up uni and had a week of placement and lectures left. The lease on my house has finished a week before, and I was staying with friends. Last day of placement comes, big argument with one of the girls, results in her throwing me out and I was left with no where to go. It had all kicked off whilst I was at placement and I had to go straight to the house to pack up my shit before the girl I’d fallen out with got home because she didn’t want to see me (it was all very dramatic, which thinking about it now, is pretty ridiculous but I’m sure it would’ve made great TV). I remember sitting in my classroom with a couple of other people and being sat there in, almost in a state of shock, thinking to myself where the fuck am I gonna go? I hate to inconvenience people and get in the way so I was like, ok I need to get a hotel. On the outside I was pretty calm, but internally I was hyperventilating like a crazy person. I called Jade to ask if I could stay for a couple days. There were no questions asked. “Yes, of course. I don’t care why, of course”

I still remember Amy pulling up to Jade’s apartment, me getting out the car and her running to me, hugging me so hard and I just sobbed on her shoulder. My friend Diane summed it up when I spoke to her later that day “well, thank fuck for Jade!”

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London, 2012. The farewell supper before Jade moved back home to LA.

The BIG argument

Jade and I bicker like sisters, when we’re tired, PMS-ing, stressed, hungry… but we’re normally over it quickly. We have only ever had one big argument, it only lasted maybe 48 hours but it felt like it lasted longer because it was so weird for us to argue like we did. Our epic road trip in Summer 2013 – the best summer of my life for sure. We were in Georgia, Jade was emosh; I was my harsh blunt self. I made her cry in the middle of a restaurant completely unintentionally. I felt like shit but didn’t know how to fix it, and we didn’t speak properly for a day or two, which, when you’re in each other’s pockets 24/7 isn’t ideal. Poor Dale was caught right in the middle of it! We got to Florida, a couple days later and talked it through and all was fine again. It may not sound like a big argument but to me it felt like it was because of how it made us both feel. I remember crying to my mum on Skype the next day, sat on a bench in the middle of an RV park on a farm in Georgia saying I wanted to go home because of it. It is the biggest argument we have ever had. I mean, we still bitch at each other for sure, but that’s what sisters do 🙂

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Brushing our teeth in a Walmart restroom somewhere in Missouri. Summer 2013.

My favourite trip

 

Jade is definitely more well travelled that I (I live vicariously through her adventures) but we have travelled a lot together, Albufeira, Barcelona, Valencia, Ljubljana, Bled, Postonja, Derry, Cork, Boston, Vegas, New Orleans and more… we’ve seen a lot of places together, made a lot of memories, taken a lot of photos but the best trip has to be when we went to NYC together on our road trip. That part of our trip was a bit of a blur due to way too much alcohol but it was SO MUCH FUN. Shutting down restaurants, taking over their music, hijacking the bar (jade), showing off mad rapping skills (me), ending up in karaoke bars with people we’d just met and then continuing the party at their apartment, wandering around Central Park, chilling out at Strawberry Fields, getting attacked (physically) by the world’s most violent cat, being attacked (verbally) by mean girls, breakfast at tiffany’s… It was a blast and one of my all time favourite trips.

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Jade and I before the carnage that is La Tomintina, Buñol, Spain. 2012.

 

Family Ties

You can generally tell when you’ve got an important part in my life when my family starts asking after you (which doesn’t happen very often). If my Dad makes an effort to see you when you come around, you know you’re special – my dad is pretty much the least sociable person I know and hates small talk as much as my digestive system hates gluten (i.e. A LOT).

My family adore Jade and ask after her all the time and my dad always makes the effort when she is around to say hi and have a conversation with her. I’ve said it before numerous times, my parents like Jade more than they like me! She is the sweetest and her place in our family was confirmed when she was invited to my sister’s wedding.

 

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Jade and I at my sister’s wedding in April 2014.

 

Jade lives in Finland now and I only really get to see her once a year in person. Having one of your best friends live so far away is hard, and it is easy to feel out the loop with each other but the magic of Skype and social media eases that and the adventures we have when we’re together remind me it is sooooo worth it. Roll on September when the next adventure happens 🙂

 

From top left : Vegas round 2 in 2013, Graduation Nov 2011, Derry 2012, sLOVEnia 2012, Matching(ish) tatts in Florida 2013, Oceana club nights, January 2009.

 

So, basically, Jade Lauren Rosenkranz is pretty great.

The End.

 

Micks

xoxo