Realities of Long-Distance Friendship

I’d like to introduce you all to one of my best friends, Lizzy. We have a friendship like no other. By that I mean, she lives 10,234 miles away. That’s right… she lives in Australia.

Our most asked question: “How did you meet?”. Our story is actually pretty cool. My aunt and Lizzy’s mom were paired up as pen pals when they were in elementary school, and always stayed in touch. Lizzy and her mom traveled to the U.S. about ten years ago, and I got to meet Lizzy for the first time. We instantly clicked, and then we became pen pals. We started with snail mail, then email, and now social media and FaceTime. The rest is history.

           

So now I’m going to brag about why having a friend who lives across the world is pretty freakin’ awesome, because it is. This is the reality of having a long-distance best friend.

1. You pick up hilarious slang terms

I’ve learned that Australian slang is really just cutting words in half, or they make absolutely no sense whatsoever. We usually discover them by Lizzy saying something, and I have no idea what on earth she just said. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites over the years, and I try to incorporate them into my vocabulary as much as possible (It really throws people off, you should give it a try sometime).

  • Comforter- Doona
  • Sweatshirt- Jumper
  • Redneck- Bogan
  • Chocolate- Chockie
  • Ketchup- Dead Horse
  • Cooler- Eskie
  • Air Conditioner- Cooler
  • Popsicle- Icy Pole
  • Track Pants- Trackie Dacks

“Shrimp on the Bar-b” is actually a complete lie. In Australia, they don’t even call shrimp “shrimp”, they say “prawns”. And as much as this may pain some of you, “G’day mate” is not the official catch phrase of Australia.

2. Accents- Need I say more?

I don’t know about you, but Australian accents are BY FAR my favorite accent. I don’t know exactly what it is about them, but they’re fantastic. Lizzy and I have fun with our accents. She tries to mimic my Boston accent, and I do my best Steve Irwin impression in return. We usually just end up hysterically laughing until we’re in tears.  I’ll let you in on my secret- to perfect “g’day mate”, say “Good eye might” really fast and you’ll sound like native Aussie ;). Lizzy doesn’t really agree but I think it’s a foolproof way to perfect the Aussie accent. Also, Aussie is pronounced “Auzzie”- You’ll thank me later.

3. “Parcels” (a.k.a. Packages)

Lizzy and her mom totally spoil me. On Christmas and my birthday, I always have the coolest package shipped to me from Australia. Lizzy and I send each other the most stereotypical Boston or Australia apparel we can find, and it makes the best gifts. I’ve sent Lizzy a “Wicked Big Sox Fan” shirt (and a UNH Wildcats shirt, of course!). I’ve received memorabilia from Lizzy’s favorite AFL team (I’m still very confused as to what exactly AFL is), a boomerang, and everything koala known to man. Finding the most ridiculous USA/ Australia apparel is all part of the fun. Lizzy is also the craftiest person I’ve ever met in my life- she’s extremely creative and the most thoughtful gift-giver ever. She always sends “Open Me When” cards, and I keep them in my dorm for when I need to smile. 

4. You manage time differences like a pro

Time zones are no joke, people. They kind of screw everything up. Lizzy’s time zone is 16 hours ahead of us, so technically she’s in the ~future~. It was confusing in the beginning, but now I’m used to it. Our main method of communication is FaceTime, and calls can range anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours. When there’s a time where we can both talk, we take advantage of it!

5. Visits!

Lizzy and her mom are quite the travelers and they’ve visited the U.S. twice. When they do come, we turn them into complete and total tourists. They were here for the Christmas of 2015, so of course we saw the Boston Pops, visited the Yankee Candle Factory, and drove through the massive light display in Worcester. Lizzy wanted to experience American high school, so I brought her to my school for a day and it’s safe

to say, everyone had a blast. Eating in the cafeteria and riding on a yellow school bus were a few of the highlights of Lizzy’s day. As for my classmates, they were excited that Lizzy came fully stocked with a supply of these little dudes.

Because we don’t get to see each other all that often, the time we spend together is even more special. We can make fun out of absolutely nothing and sit there and laugh for hours. I miss that girl like crazy all the time, but knowing she’s coming to visit soon makes up for it! Lizzy and her “mum” are coming to visit this summer, and needless to say I’m PUMPED. The other day, I picked up a letter in the mailroom. It was a letter from Lizzy, complete with a Countdown Calendar until she arrives in the States. I can’t wait to show her what a summer in New England is all about! 

6. You dream big

I reeeaalllllyyyy want to go to Australia. Like really badly. I’ve made it a point that one day, sooner rather than later, I’m going to visit. Lizzy and I are also hoping to one day do what we call “The Half-Way Trip”. Our destination: Hawaii. It’s kind of right in between Australia and Boston (Kinda Sorta). When I was younger, I thought these things were impossible to accomplish. Now I’m learning that they’re possible, I just have to create those opportunities for myself. Watch out AU, I’ll be there someday!

 

7. You learn that it’s never a goodbye, just a see you later

The only bad part about having a friend who lives overseas is the goodbye. The last time Lizzy left to go to the airport and fly back home, I sobbed like a baby. My entire family sobbed like babies. Lizzy and her mom have a special spot in our hearts, and that will never change. The thing that I’ve learned is, it’s just a “See you later”, because we will see each other later. Thinking about it with that mentality makes the goodbyes a little bit easier (not much, but a little bit goes a long way in this case).

So Lizzy and Naida, I hope you know how excited I am to spend the summer with you. I’m counting down the days until you arrive!! I love you both more than you know… See you latahhhh (threw a little Boston in there for ya) 

“Friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you always know that they’re there”