Blood runs thicker than water… or does it?

Believe me, when I say, I am blessed. I have a good family – they care for me and although I don’t see them that often anymore I know that if push comes to shove they will always be there for me. In saying that, let me tell you – we are a far from conventional family!! In actual fact, that’s a whole other blog of its own! But one thing is for certain, we love each, a lot!

However, as I went through my 20s’ I realised something. Sometimes the people you really need for your safety, survival and, well, mostly just sanity are, of course, your friends. The family we choose. The ones that know your worst traits, have experienced them first hand, and are still standing there beside you. Those ready to face the world right there, beside you.

My friends have pulled me from drains. Yes, I know how that sounds. However, it involved a mobile phone and a potential date. Therefore, it needed rescuing – and yes it survived! Teamwork. They have watched me fall to my lowest lows and rise to my highest highs, yet they are always there for me – inexplicably.

‘A good friend will bail you outta jail, a best friend will be sitting next to you saying… ‘damn that was awesome’.

Time, age, race or sex are inconsequential to a friendship… that contagious laughter, unbreakable trust and sense of fun, however, is paramount.

There are many friends, acquaintances, and every variable in between that I have made in my life. Some of those are still here and I know they will always be. However, some have drifted away over the years – and some I may not have spoken to in almost a decade. However, the funny thing is that I know they would be there if I arrived on their doorstep with nothing first thing in the morning. That’s one of the best traits of a human being, I believe. An incredible desire to be a good person and a good friend. Something we all strive to be. Although our childhood, family, and background can sometimes cloud our judgment on people – to still have that innate quality to be good, that desire to be good. T

This is what I have learned in abundance on my travels.

I have met so many amazing people. Some of the wittiest, charming and outrageous people that I now call friends. Before leaving Ireland – I have no doubt that my closed mind would have stopped us being friends – for many reasons, race / gender / age / sex – whatever the reason. However when you travel, your mind becomes so open, you get the opportunity to start over. A chance to create new friendships, to cultivate new paths and directions. That is something that I never knew could happen, in fact, it still fascinates me each time I stop to think about it!

But alas, all that glitters sometimes is not gold. And of course, sometimes it doesn’t always work out like that, sometimes friendships breakdown, or aren’t what you may have initially thought them to be. Not all people are good, or loyal, or heck some of them may not even be sane! Furthermore, there are those rare occasions throughout our lives when we are left saddened and disappointed by the ones who will inevitably let you down. I use to let this really get to me and upset me through the years growing up, but when I moved abroad, it all changed. I felt very alone. Friends would eventually stop calling so often – getting used to being gone. I had to really sit back and re-look at all of these ‘friendships’ I had made – were they real, temporary, permanent. And that is when I realised – nothing is permanent – well at least most things anyway. And you need to appreciate everything in your life that you do have – and the friends you have and also are enjoying being around at that moment.

None of us are perfect.

I for one have so many bad points I would be all day going through them, however, I also have many good. Most importantly I am unapologetically me. The people that I love and trust are there for me and yes I have lost a few along the way. Some through choice and some through no choice of my own and the ones that should and will always be there – are. I have no intention of losing them anytime soon!

  In 2015, I lost one of my best friends. It made me realise the importance of those people in your life that are closest to you. Never take them for granted, and also never ever forgetting the amazing memories you shared with them. Because they will never die.

If it wasn’t for my friends, I would never have managed to be brave enough to chuck in my business and travel the world in an attempt to follow my dreams and finally, do something I believe in. Above all discover all that I can be. I have met some incredible people during my time abroad. People who helped me on the tough days to get through and stick it out. On the other hand, I also had my rocks on the other end of the phone in Ireland, when I needed them to cry to. (While I stuffed my face with pizza!! FYI)

And most importantly, when I have tough days I am lucky enough to have one of the best friends in the world, that I can confide in. One that I can trust with my life. Yes, we are human, make no mistake! We have good days, and of course, we have bad days. But no matter what happens, we are there for each other… stuffing our faces with pizza together… no matter where we are in the world!

And that trust and loyalty are thicker than any blood…

Love & Gambas,

Misty Barker Travel and Food Writer Spain