There are people who are very skeptical when it comes to cyber friends and meeting people you’ve only talked to via a computer screen.
Well, The Ugly Ducklings are an exception…
This past summer, Maaike, Maressa, and Marie had the incredible opportunity to meet each other, defying long distances (in the case of Argentina, especially), and other tiny obstacles. Below you’ll read the three diaries of these three duckies who got this great chance to meet.
Having some of my best friends living abroad is a unique experience to say the least. Everything feels exactly the same as with friends living close to you, except for the *bloody* concept of distance (who came up with that anyway?).
You cannot just ring your friends on the other side of the world to ask if they feel like going out or to meet up. Conversations are only possible via text messaging applications or social media, and face to face contact is limited to online video chats. It’s weird feeling so close somehow, but so far away at the same time.
But sometimes… sometimes luck is at your side.
That moment when all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and you can actually be together with friends you love so very much. It happened to me this summer when I was the most fortunate girl in the world to be able to spend some time with my dear friends Maressa and Marie (a.k.a. Sisters from other Misters).
Last summer, Maressa and I were on a road trip for a week in her home country Switzerland (and we also shared our experience with The Ugly Ducklings here!)
Right away we agreed that we would meet up again next summer too, regardless of where that would be. Well, since Maressa never visited my home country, the Netherlands, we agreed that she would visit me this summer. We planned some day trips and even visited my second home, London, where I used to live in 2012. It was once again an amazing experience that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss for the world.
Then there’s this other peculiar case of faith I need to tell you about. Our dear Colombian friend living in Argentina (still following?), Marie, happened to attend a wedding in Rome in July… at the exact time Maressa was in the Netherlands. Everyone can do the math, right?
Exactly! Marie also took a flight to the Netherlands. I’ll spare you the details, but the journey to Europe entailed a lot of work and stress for her. But finally, she made it and the three of us were reunited.
I really have to say, it felt so natural to have these girls with me. So perfectly normal. Like we’re not living 450 and 7107 miles (!) apart, but just next door to each other. I was then also extremely sad to see them leave.
I had an amazing time with my Sisters and loved to show them my homeland. Also looking through their eyes at my own country and its culture taught me so much. It’s good to reflect upon these things from time to time and to open your eyes to your own country’s beauty and its unique aspects.
Friends enrich your life and having friends living so far away makes you appreciate that fact even more.
Maressa and Marie, I felt extremely privileged to be able to show you my country and to have you around me. Het was gezellig! Love you girls to the moon and back!
Maaike and I made an agreement on our last year’s road trip through Switzerland that we should at least meet once a year. I think that it’s fair enough since we both live in Europe.
This year, though, we met up in her home country the Netherlands. I had never really been there before but I heard from friends that it was a beautiful country and they were absolutely right.
This time around we had two weeks of vacation together which was much less hectic. I flew from Zurich to Amsterdam where Maaike awaited me already with a hug. We stayed there for three nights and then headed to her place where I was welcomed with open arms by her beautiful family and their super sweet dog Finn.
We travelled from there to many different places before we headed on our four-day trip to London. Maaike worked there for 6months, so she knew her way around and where all the good places are. To my surprise she told me that she had never been on the London Eye.
But then, she came up with the brilliant idea to go on a ride on it when the final World Cup game was on, Germany against Argentina, and I was all for it. We stood in line for like five minutes before we were in a capsule that took us on a breathtaking ride over London.
We flew back to the Netherlands on Monday evening where I only had two more sleeps at her place left, before I went back home. But first our dear friend Marie from Argentina picked us up at the airport.
It was one of the things that I thought that would never come true but if you dream hard enough it might actually happen. It was insane to finally meet her and hug her.
We brought her some gifts home from our London trip but I think great minds think alike; Marie also brought us some beautiful gifts from Argentina. As I said before, I only had two more days to spend with my girls (which sucked so much) but hey! we at least got to meet up.
The last two days were as incredible as my prior eleven days with Maaike. We talked, we laughed, we took silly pictures and had just a blast. And then Wednesday came and we hat to say our goodbyes but I never imagined it would be so hard.
With tears in my eyes I went on my journey back home but I took a final glance back and there they were waving and smiling at me.
I’ll treasure these moments with my girls forever. They’ll always remain in my heart, because they made everything really special. I never thought that I would meet such great friends over the internet, ever.
It was the beginning of April when I found out about my brother getting married in Rome in July. Besides the usual euphoria that this faity-tale-ish wedding/trip to Europe meant to me, the dates sounded so familiar that I had to rush like a maniac and contact my Ugly Duckling friends, Maaike, and Maressa, to tell them the good news.
And it happened.
His wedding was around the time they were spending vacation together, and I planned my trip in order to go to the Netherlands after leaving Rome.
You know how they say you feel butterflies in your stomach when something incredible is going to happen to you? Mine were seahorses swimming in all directions, at a ridiculous speed. I got to the airport first, the same day they were arriving from London.
That first moment, when we saw each other, the smiles couldn’t fit our faces and the hugs were a mixture of nervousness and excitement.
How could it be that three Ugly Ducklings from three different parts of the world get to be – in – one – place? at the same time?
We talked about TV shows, about boys, about traveling, about our lives, our future. We gave each other advice. We cried, we laughed, and we walked around beautiful streets, the beach, slept in the train back home, ate yummy Dutch treats, among other amazing things.
To me, who had to make such a long trip, it actually feels just like a strange dream. It all happened so fast (from the planning of the trip to the actual days we were together) that I know it happened, but it was such happy times that all felt like a sublime dream
I keep all those moments in a very special place in my heart, and I have to thank Maaike and Maressa for that. Also, Maaike’s family were extremely welcoming and kind, and it made everything even more surreal.
After seeing the girls, + Amsterdam + The Hague + Monschau (Germany) + Maastricht, and so many other beautiful places in Netherlands, it was time to go back. I cried, but not because I was sad, but because emotions were overpowering.
We tried to make the best of the few hours we got to spend together, and I think we made it. Until next time my dear Ugly Duckling sisters.