Before I left on this fellowship abroad, I sat for hours upon hours on my phone and laptop scouring the internet. I read articles over all aspects of the journey. One thing that was repeated over and over again was that you will make friendships that will last forever. I thought this was the cheesiest thing and no one ever explained why they will last so long! You meet these people, talk with them for a few months, and then go back home. But I sure was wrong! I can truly say that the friendships I have made abroad will last a lifetime. Here’s why; 12 hours flight followed by a 4 hours layover and another 4 hours flight delay; I finally land in the greatest country of the world! I have already dreamed for hours and hours about the nice hot shower I am going to take, and the comfy big bed I am going to rest my body on, little did I know, I will be sleeping on a punk bed at a smelly hostel! And that’s when I saw her, an equally disappointed, restless human being with panda-looking eyes like mine, I don’t know her name yet, but I say: hey, let’s go to the lobby and find an AIRBNB? It was then when I realized I found myself a friend, a friend that is going on the same emotional journey as I am, a friend that will share the most spontaneous last minute planned trips with me, a friend that will bust stereotypes with me, someone that will encourage my career goals and that amongst few; truly understand the career jump we had to make for this fellowship to work! The best advice I can give you after all is not to be shy. I am not saying you have to talk to people first, but you can always answer questions to keep the conversation going.
By Rana Abu Nemeh June 2, 2020