On Living Thousands of Miles Away from Your Best Girlfriends

For those of you who don’t know, I’m an Aussie living in Turkey (albeit I’m leaving this beautiful/ugly country with which I have a love/hate relationship very soon). There are many benefits of living abroad as so many other blogs will tell you (I like this one, although Nessy just moved from London to Paris; I moved halfway across the world, for goodness’ sake)—and there are many disadvantages. On top of that list for me (as I’m sure it is for many other people) is missing my family and friends—and to break that down even further, missing my girlfriends.

I guess that was also the motivation behind this great podcast I discovered, Call Your Girlfriend. It is the brainchild of two long-distance best friends, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow, who meet up to discuss everything and anything from, in their own words, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the beauty of kaftans, menstruation news, Kimye, Pitbull, Hillary Rodham Clinton, casual racism, emoji, straight people, California, rom-coms, Lorde, lipstick, and so much more.” Their banter is authentic and funny; they’re best friends after all and it shows.

The podcast is a brilliant idea and really hit a chord with my BFFs-missing soaked heart. Although my girlfriends and I catch up for Skype dates as regularly as we can (#adultlyf is busy, y’all), it doesn’t quite compare to being with them in person, laughing uncontrollably at seemingly nothing, getting into hour-long D&Ms in the bathroom, and having tastegasms…like during every meal we eat.

I live abroad with my partner and he’s a great support, but there’s nothing quite like the support of your girlfriends. Turkey is a complicated place, but my life massively improved when I made a really close girlfriend after a few months of living here. When she moved back to England a year ago, my world quite literally got darker. I didn’t have her positivity and silly face expressions to get me through a bad day (and I have had many here, believe me).

But most of all, I miss my core BFF group in Melbourne. There are no other people that can make me laugh like these girls do, make me feel better about myself if I’m feeling down, or give me killer advice. We never finish a text or a Skype convo without the obligatory “Love you.” It’s become a habit because it reflects the truth. It’s no wonder that it’s been scientifically proven that good friends help you live longer. This study, for instance, found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with the fewest friends by 22%. But what’s more important than quantity is quality—and quality of friendships is something I’ve definitely been blessed with.

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I miss my girlfriends more than they could possibly know. Every time I do housework, I think of one of my besties who shares my love for spotless kitchens (we’re also the best planners that the world has ever seen). When a crappy new show about some hot housewives of some city or another comes out, I think of another bestie who shared my love of Jackie Collins novels growing up (we also share many other things, like dramatic Russian moms). When my boyfriend tells me to soosh when we’re watching a movie, I miss my best friend with whom I “gasbag” (her word) throughout the duration of an entire film. Don’t even mention the Oscars to me—I can’t bear to watch it without another bestie who shares my love for good cinema and literature, and, most importantly, faux pas on the red carpet. And listening to 90s R&B (or laughing, or eating, or drinking cocktails, for that matter) are never the same without another bestie. That’s why I secretly love it when I accidentally get copied into threads for plans I’m not there to physically take part in. It makes me feel like I’m part of it, like I’m there, even though—painfully—I’m not.

So, wondering what a podcast of conversations with my long-distance BFFs would sound like? Well, they’d be a round-up of the latest films and TV series that we’ve been watching. Bit of goss on what’s been going on in Melbs, and with our other abroad-living friends. A nod to our partners that have impressed with their latest whatever. A brief summary of how good our poos have been lately. Lots of giggles. Smiling until our faces hurt.

Our lives are changing. There are weddings, mortgages, and babies. And alongside these, our friendships mature, but ultimately, they stay the same—a very consoling thing to a girl living abroad who really misses her girlfriends.

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