There are moments in life where you go places, do things and meet people that have an incredible and lasting impact on your life. These moments are the moments that make life worth living. If you ever need to question the validity of life these are the moments that provide the answer.
My exchange year was the combination of all of these factors into amazing moments which put together created a single year long amazing moment. And the friends I made there are friends I will keep for life.
I may not get to see these friends often or at all. Or even get to speak to them often but when I do it never fails to brighten my day. To hear their voices as we laugh over things we remember from when we were together and make new moments to remember. And when we do get to see each other even if it is for the briefest period of time it's like we were never apart. And in half an hour it can feel like we have been talking for a year. Through shared experiences we have forged a bond that isn't broken despite the fact that we are all over the world. Whether it be Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Finland, or any other country we are all connected by ties that bind.
As for friends from high school, while it is true many people lose contact with the people they went to school with. But for a lucky few they manage to keep in contact with their friends. And if you manage to keep in contact beyond high school you can guarantee what you have is more than just a playground friendship and that you have loyal friends who will be there for you when you need them.
There are other friends I have made as well over the years. Some in the most unlikely of places. I have made friends on the opposite side of the world or country that I have never met or only met a few times by using the internet but these friendships are just as important. You never know when you will get the opportunity to meet one of these people and find they are like a twin but born and raised on the other side of the world.
The other place I have forged friendships that have lasted beyond the bounds of their original locality is in cadets. Common interest, common activity's and a growing of ones self in ways that challenge you to do the best and be the best you can be. Again friends that last and defy convention despite location.
So this is for you my friends. Wherever you are and however we have met. THANK YOU, for making my life worth living and creating the moments in time that give me the answer to the question when it isn't the number 42.
Sylvia, Sanni, Henna, Svenja, Veera, Salla, Mim, Joey, Jem, Natz, Elly, Martyn, Ellen, Robyn, Brandon, Courtney, Ashley, Travis, Beth, Amy, Niamh, Koit and the many many others I have undoubtedly forgotten. You make life worth living. And I thank you for it.