Thanks to Star Wars, I have a fantastic group of friends in London.
I don’t remember exactly when Kev and I first met, but we both wrote on one of those online journal sites, and he started reading my posts because I had a Star Wars themed user name, just like him. (Thanks to the few of you out there nodding your heads in approval)
While Katie and I were in Sydney in 2006 — my second experience abroad and her first — we talked about how much fun a trip to London for New Years would be. I could meet Kev and she could meet her friend Jon. We wanted to make it work, but we were doubtful we’d be able to afford another trip so soon. Miraculously, we talked our family into the idea a few weeks later, and booking a family trip certainly helped cut down on the costs.
By December, Kev and I had continued talking quite a bit, and he had introduced me to a few of his friends through their blogs and photos. I knew it would be nice to meet them, but I could never have anticipated the friendships that would develop from that first meeting.
Katie, our dad, and I arrived at Victoria station and saw a group of familiar faces standing not too far away. Conversation flowed immediately, and we spent an evening together walking around and enjoying the city. Things went so well, we were invited to their New Years party a couple of days later. Then, we got together again on our last night in London.
Days after returning home Katie and I were itching to go back and spend more time with our new friends. Apparently they felt the same because we were offered an invitation to stay with a couple of folks in their flat if we could afford our flights and food. Done. By May, we were back for another week, and this time we met even more members of this tight-knit group of friends.
Since New Years 2007 I’ve been to London four times, several of them have come to visit my family for two different Thanksgivings, and just last month, 10 of the Londoners joined me and two other friends to celebrate my 30th birthday in Dublin. Whenever we get together, it feels like no time has passed at all, and though we’re an ocean apart, they consider me to be another member of their group and I feel like one.
They’ve been an important part of my life over the last three years, and I’ll be writing about my adventures with them in the months to come.