I had the privilege to again meet up with some friends I had met a couple years ago backpacking Thailand. Part of a larger group, Dom and Floris I had met December 2012, as fresh baby faced travellers, living it up in Thailand. Lexi from Canada, whom I hadn’t seen since, was here this time and it was really warming to see them all.
Dom and Floris I actually met along with a couple others in Amsterdam in 2013, and it was the same this time, Amsterdam again as our meeting point. It was easy for us all to meet, in the middle, and an entertaining enough place.
Although this time, it was New Years Eve. Dom and Lexi had hooked up whilst in Thailand and have dated ever since. I think that’s absolutely incredible. Despite the fact they live 10 hours away on a plane, they have a healthy 2 year relationship which has involved alot of commuting. That’s real dedication and I love that about them. It’s kind of special too, you know? Two backpackers, looking for life and finding love on the road. And despite the novelty of the road wearing off, they are a couple in the ‘real’ world, despite the obvious obstacles of their respective locations.
I flew to Amsterdam as I was home in England to see the family. Dom and Lexi said I could stay on there couch for free at their hotel, which made my mind up for me. As soon as Dom messaged me that I arranged my flight. I got in early, on a 5am, and was worried about that. I knew Dom and Lexi both liked there sleep and to wake up a couple wasn’t exactly the best scenario. Nevertheless, I made my way to there hotel. I waited for Dom to come down, to which he did with a glorious greeting, hugging me and laughing. Lexi was still asleep mostly, as I entered the room with a good old Canadian ‘Hey Tommy’ from under her bed sheets.
This time we were 2 years on, and alot had changed for us all. We were all similar age. They had been together, had been studying hard, and keeping their relationship going. I had been on the road since, had changed a bit and more matured to what when they first met me. I was still fresh and puppy eyed from all the lights and wonders of travelling. However it was good to reminisce and just chat. I really felt warm with them and not at all like the third wheel, which sometimes can happen when there is three. Three wasn’t a crowd. It felt close and I really didn’t realise that until afterwards and I really look forward to seeing them regularly.
As for NYE, well, it ended early. We drank quickly after a day of touring Amsterdam city and by the time the fireworks blasted out through Amsterdam Square, the wine, Jaeger, lager and the rest of the booze passed me out, Lexi too apparently. Dom had took us both home in a cab.
2:30am New Years Eve, Tommy you lightweight.
Yet it was another reunion, and rather than a backpacking one, It was a real one. I felt comfortable with these guys, excited to see them and just chat and socialize. We met Floris the next day for a quick cup of coffee and made it a Quartet. And then in Amsterdam Square, Floris got on this bicycle and biked home, Dom and Lex headed to the airport for a flight back to Germany, and I walked around a bit taking in my last night there. We have talked about France 2016, for the football championships, or maybe even Canada before that. But whenever it is, its going to be some way off again. But hell, having international friends is awesome, it makes the times better and more exciting I think. And by the time we meet again, alot will have happened in our lives and we will have got older again. But the memories of Thailand will never be forgotten. A reunion again will happen. I cannot wait. Until next time, friends.