One year ago I was standing alone in the Venice, Italy airport on the verge of a panic attack because I couldn’t find my group and the people I’d be spending the next two weeks with. I was desperately trying to connect to WiFi or get some type of service to get in touch with someone on the trip to ask where I was supposed to go, when I randomly heard a voice, “…Casie?” (it’s important to note this voice said my name correctly as KC and not Cassie). That’s when I met the spunky little red head, Brittany, and my soon-to-be adventure buddy, Shannon.
During our travels through Italy, Germany, and Switzerland (and a sprinkle of Austria and France), these two were my go-to, best friends on the trip. We roomed together in every city, explored together, tried weird foods, and created memories I wouldn’t want with anyone else. The only catch? We all lived in different parts of the United States and didn’t know how we were going to continue/maintain this friendship once we got home, but we were determined.
Flash forward one year later and my tickets were booked to Houston, Texas to visit Shannon in her hometown and be joined by Brittany (a new Austin, Texas resident). We had all been keeping in touch through Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. throughout the year, but hadn’t really talked on the phone, texted rarely, and didn’t once think to Facetime each other. Yet, the night before the trip, we all got on the phone and talked through a few of the plans and let me tell you, hearing their voices again made my heart ache to be in the same room with them.
I, not-so-shockingly, got lost in the Houston airport when Shannon was picking me up, but the moment I saw her, it felt like no time had passed. We started off by doing a quick catch up, but not too in-depth since Britt would be with us soon, so our main topic of conversation was our playlists (something that bonded Shannon and I right when when we were sitting on long bus rides through the European countryside). Then, the moment had finally come and the three of us were all sitting in Shannon’s living room catching up about our jobs and everything about what was happening in our lives. All was right in the world.
We spent the weekend eating, eating, eating, taking a beach day, and exploring the city of Houston. Oh, and did I mention eating? I mean, come on. The food in Houston is amazing. You get BBQ, Tex Mex, Cajun, and the most important one, a dedicated mac and cheese restaurant. We went to fun bars, met some of Shannon’s friends and family, met Brittany’s boyfriend, went to an amazing dog park, and walked through some of the coolest shops. It was my perfect weekend.
I think what was so special about this short weekend trip were the moments we would all be sitting in a room together and all just look up at one another and express how grateful we were for this friendship. I distinctly remember looking at them with a smile on my face, in total bliss of meeting two strangers in the Venice Airport who became two of my favorite people in this world.
If you’re ever taking a leap of faith to travel solo, take the time to meet the people around you. I’m so thankful to EF Ultimate Break (at the time it was EF College Break, but I get it, inclusive language) and how they create a space and trips for people who want to explore but don’t necessarily have people to go with. If it weren’t for our trip, I wouldn’t have these two lifelong friendships. I wouldn’t have these new adventure buddies who I know I travel well with. I’m so lucky and so blessed.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. I had zero issues with flying this time — so thank you Delta for aiding in the absolute perfect weekend.