I traveled 5,500 miles to meet my best friend

Very few events in my life so far can be defined as “unforgettable”. Meeting the person I’ve spent 2 years talking to only online would be one of them. I was frightened because I was scared that she might have been a catfish. But, that wasn’t the case; I will forever cherish the memories she has given me, as she has truly changed my life.

Over the course of high school, I had a huge issue with befriending others and maintaining relations. That was an issue until I started an online community on Discord (a gaming application), where I met Sam. As of how most friendships build, we grew closer with games, common interests, and being there for one another, as we eventually started talking on a daily basis. 

After a year of sharing emotions and feelings, tears, rants, thoughts, and news, we both wanted to meet- that was March 2018. Meeting up took nine months to plan and make happen. We both lost hope of seeing each other during these nine months because of the wait. Since March, I’ve been asking my parents to travel, and every time I asked, they said no. But, in November, after all the begging, I finally convinced my parents to let me go on this trip. I couldn’t wait any longer. I bought tickets right before Thanksgiving break, a month prior to when we actually met. The prices were insanely expensive, but my parents, with their love and support, allowed me to purchase the tickets and fly out of the United States to Amsterdam. After finding out that I was able to finally meet Sam, I felt like my life turned right-side-up. She kept me sane, content, and focused during my junior and senior year.

 

Amsterdam

Sam and I planned to meet up at Dam Square, the heart of Amsterdam in the morning after departing from the airport and checking in for the hotel. When I got to Amsterdam, adrenaline rushed through my body, as I was excited to accomplish this goal of meeting an important person I’ve talked only through technology for the very first time. At first, the feeling of nervousness and fright trembled down my body as I waited at Dam Square, anticipating a hug from Sam. After what felt like five hours, five minutes passed as I waited there, nervous about everything. The feeling of finally getting to meet her was a one-time experience I would ever get in my life. I patiently waited, checking my phone every five seconds for a text message from her. Then, I saw her waiting there for me. When I saw her in person, it was everything that I saw of her social media. She had green eyes, brownish blonde hair, and a beautiful smile. For all the time we’ve spent talking to each other, we made our goal of hugging each other into reality. For the days I stayed in Amsterdam, Sam and I went to Mcdonalds (supposedly our “first date”), Winterparadijs (a winter festival), ice skating, Loetje (popular steakhouse in Amsterdam), a canal cruise, and watched the fireworks on New Years.

 

Overall, our meetup was everything I expected. I knew that we weren’t going to be awkward around each other. Out of this experience, I learned a lot; I learned that my relationship with Sam didn’t change at all when seeing one another in person- it strengthened our friendship. I learned that Europeans have smaller serving sizes for their appetites- I had twice as much food than Sam.  Something that I’ve learned about myself is that traveling is amazing. If I had the opportunity to travel to more places or even stay for longer, I would have definitely taken the opportunity. In terms of future plans for our friendship, we’re going to see each other again, and when I see her for again, we’re going to do all the things we’ve always wanted to do together: watch movies, have fun at a theme park, and more. But for now, this is only the first chapter of our story. This video (edited, written, and filmed by me) is a captured memory of meeting my online best friend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raya6iDyRkw

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