I am nearing the end to my #FLEuro2016 recaps (“About time” – Tracy), but how can I end my recaps without a post dedicated to my wonderful travel partner: Fatima?
Fatima and I did not grow up together, in fact, we only became friends in the last few years, so I was both ecstatic and worried when she agreed to go on a backpacking trip with me. On one hand, I was excited to go with her and glad that we had similar destinations we wanted to visit. On the other hand, I was worried that at the end of the trip, we wouldn’t be friends anymore.
It’s one of those things where you get along great with someone or you love them or whatever, but then you move in together and you realize you cannot stand this person anymore. Spending 30 days together day and night, combined with stressful or tiring situations, was part of the package and I worried that by the end of it all, our friendship would be broken or damaged.
I am very happy to say that this did not happen. Through this backpacking trip, I have realized just how caring of a person Fatima is, and this was most evident during our stay in Amsterdam when I was sick with fevers for 3/5 days.
Because of my fevers, I was constantly nauseous with a lack of appetite, and had to stay inside our Airbnb where I mostly slept through the day and night due to my medicine. I would toss and turn at night and wake up constantly drenched in sweat. Even though it wasn’t my fault, I felt bad for Fatima because she was not able to go out and explore Amsterdam since she had to stay in and take care of me.
In one of my many drugged-up memories of Amsterdam, I remember Fatima wiping my sweaty back because I was not well enough to leave the bed and take a shower. In that instant, I felt so grateful to have her by my side and so guilty for chaining her to my bed that I started to cry a lot. Fatima reassured me that I’ll be well soon and proceeded to turn one of her old shirts into a makeshift ice pack for me.
Getting sick while traveling was another one of my mother’s big worries, and I too, was a little scared about what would happen if I didn’t get better. Granted, I didn’t have too much time or energy to think too much about this since I already had enough to deal with, but Fatima must’ve worried about it on top of trying her best to simply help me get better. Yet in my conscious moments, she looked nothing less of an angel to me who seemed to know exactly what she was doing to get me better in no time.
In a heartfelt conversation later in our trip in Venice, Fatima and I reflected on our friendship and how the trip had impacted it. We agreed that through FLEuro2016, we definitely became closer friends, and came to understand how to deal with instances where we got annoyed at each other. Mostly, we were thankful for each other and how our different personality traits rubbed off on each other in positive ways.
To my beautiful friend and travel sister, I wouldn’t have chosen to go with anybody else on this trip. Thank you for all the times you took care of me, listened to me, and experienced new things with me. This trip was everything that it was because you were with me, and although the memories we made in Europe may fade little by little over time, I will never forget how I felt traveling with you: spontaneous, young, and free.
There are times when friendship feels like running down a hill together as fast as you can, jumping over things, spinning around, and you don’t care where you’re going, and you don’t care where you’ve come from, because all that matters is speed, and the hands holding your hands.
― M.T. Anderson, Whales on Stilts: M. T. Anderson’s Thrilling Tales