But I have and friendship made while travelling are very different.
You are interesting and so is everyone else.
There is something special to be said about friends you call tell and listen to the same stories over again, knowing how they begin, all the middle bits and how they end. But travel friends haven’t heard your stories, you haven’t heard theirs and you both have so much to say and talk about.
Your days are pretty interesting too. You’ll have more to talk about other than what happened at work or how much the failed MOT is going to cost.
Friendships made while travelling can be intense. You don’t usually spend all-day everyday living in the back-pockets of your friends back home, nor do you experience your first sky-dive, ride rapids, have elephants walk through your camp site while you sleep and snorkel in barrier reefs all within a few weeks.
You experience a lot within such a short space of time and it creates a bit of a bond that is hard to replicate elsewhere.
Then it is all over.
Goodbye can be surprisingly easy
Saying goodbye to a friend can be painful. Whether this is literally saying good, or just self-acknowledging you are drifting apart from a once close friend. Saying goodbye to a travel friend never really feels like a farewell.
Saying goodbye feels more like a thank-you and an acknowledgement of the time spent and memories made together. Travel friends will be on your social media accounts, probably comment on photos and status updates. But you know it is highly unlikely you’ll see them again and you are strangely okay with that.
Lifelong friendships, marriages and happy ever afters can found while travelling, but these are exceptions.
The reality for most of us is a little more bittersweet.
I have met some amazing and wonderful people and social media keeps us all connected to a degree. There are a small number of people I have stayed in genuine contact with, gone travelling again with or arranged to meet up when one of us is in a particularly part of the World. But travel friendships are usually short and come to a natural conclusion.
My final thought: there are striking similarities between most travel friends and (some) work colleagues. Chance has brought you together, they make the journey that bit more fun and enjoyable but when all is said and done, you usually walk forward in different directions