Friendship is…

Awesome is the word – we’ve seen 70 friends in 11 days! It’s been amazing and surreal too, with many chapters of our lives flashing by day by day.

There’s also the sense of a fantastic rekindling of the most special bonds. We wholeheartedly encourage everyone to go and see a long-lost friend or ten. It’s the greatest gift to them – and yourself, something you’ll remember all year and beyond, and all for just a little extra effort. As we go about seeing all our amazing people, we’re discovering and being reminded about a few interesting things on friendship.

Ah yes, here’s a list:

1. It’s great to make new friends, and don’t think life won’t present that chance, even if you’re 90 years old (or like me, in your 40s!)… Here we are with Matthew and Kim from The Camping And Caravanning Club, with whom we had such a great time on Dartmoor the week before last that we’re going to pop in on them in Coventry at the Club’s HQ on our travels soon.

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2. Spend time together as a family and you will build the friendship there. A family that plays together stays together! Our boys are really best mates too – and how awesome is that! Caption for the pic below goes something like: “Leg it, they’re taking another picture of us!”

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3. Long-time friendships can still grow. We hope. (In fact, the older we get the more we mean to each other.)

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4. Life is about people, especially friends. Friends are people. Therefore, all people have potential to be your friends. Go find the new ones as you see the older ones.

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5. Love makes us laugh and cry. Friendship is love; love is friendship. Embrace them both with all your heart. Hold nothing back for if you do you have nothing.

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6. Are friends electric? Yes they are! So far we’ve met four people that we call friends who we’d only previously “met” through social media. But we called them friends before, and now after meeting we call them friends even more! Social media doesn’t replace a hug, but you can make and develop friendships through writing to people and reading what they write and seeing their photographs. Just don’t let any of this replace meeting up with them. Here with great chap Ben Hatch ( https://twitter.com/BenHatch ), author of the aptly titled Are We Nearly There Yet?

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7. If you have children, by visiting your friends their and your children can become friends too. You may have started a friendship for a whole lifetime. And that is something priceless! Take a photograph of their first meeting. Over the years, they will look at it again and again.

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8. Every friend is different. Some have hugged us before we’ve turned off the motorhome’s engine; others are a little less keen on touching, nose to nose etc… They are all wonderful in their own way and we wouldn’t want them any other way than them being relentlessly themselves. That’s why we love friends.

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9. Friend – ORIGIN Old English frēond, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch friend and German Freund, from an Indo-European root meaning to love’.

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10. Friends (and including if you’re lucky enough of course that your extended family are friends too) are the most important thing in this world. Do the “rocking chair test” if you disbelieve: this is, imagine yourself as a 90-year-old sat in your rocking chair and looking back on life. What would you remember, what would you wish (that you had worked a lot more, that you had spent more time cleaning and ironing, that you had spent more time staring at your smartphone…?)? We’ll leave this list at that thought. 😉

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