GirlGI | Girl Gone International Issue 8 - Page 64

Thank You for Being a Friend Phillips’ story echoes those same sentiments: Her work at a South Korean university has taken her to China, Thailand, and several countries in Africa, and has included stints teaching women’s studies and journalism to undergraduates. As she says, ‘It is difficult to give up a good thing just to move back home where there is still a high unemployment rate and few good opportunities’ for someone with her skill set. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, ‘There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.’ True friendships are doubly important for GGIs, especially when they have spent a long time abroad. Taryn Hughes is an American in Berlin whose work has focused on rehabilitating trauma survivors with yoga, dance and movement therapy and who has spent her career advocating for juvenile prisoners. She told GirlGI, ‘[M]y friends are true angels. Our friendships are just as deep or deeper now than when I left. With the extended vacation allotment here [in Germany], it’s nice to have large chunks of time to see them.’ Nina Pantelic, who was born in Serbia, grew up there and in the US and now lives in Spain, advises that ‘If you open yourself up to your new Sabina Stachura was born and raised in Poland culture, you often find a plethora of friends who but moved to Ireland to save up for university; from want to share their [culture] with you, and [who there moved to California. Although she finds that want to] learn about your own.’Of course, living ‘the hardest part of moving abroad is being far from abroad for an extended period of time can somefamily and friends,’ her ‘relationship with family and times take its toll. As Cavalla says, ‘When you live friends got stronger’ since she moved away. She abroad for such a long time, you are not quite sure says that they now ‘spend hours talking on Skype where your roots are.’ [and] catching up through text messages.’ On the other hand, rootlessness can be quite And of course, while it is normal to miss friends liberating for others. Barbarella from Paris, a and family from back home, GGIs are usually Chilean who has been living in Paris for the last six adept at making friends wherever they travel. years, says that ‘Being permanently in the state of Philips notes that she has made friends who ‘are mind of a foreigner is a great feeling: I get to live like family to me’ and that ‘It is great to have friends the life of a gypsy even though I settled down in from all over the globe so that I have someone to another place, travelling around and discovering visit when I travel.’ Visiting friends when travelling new things.’ ‘makes my travel experiences so much more personal and worthwhile.’