There are few times in life when you find a group of people you truly mesh with – people that force you to be the best version of yourself, and make you feel 100% comfortable in your skin. Sometimes, it happens like this: one of your best friends from elementary days calls you up and invites you to go on a trip to New Orleans. The other attendees are all people you’ve never met. Her funny, laid-back boyfriend of two years (who still needs your stamp of approval); a younger French-loving fashionista friend from her church; and a photography buff fresh out of pharmacy school. Oh, and we’re actually leaving tomorrow – not next weekend like you originally thought. If this ever happens to you, don’t hesitate. Drop everything and go, because chances are, you will have the time of your life. (SPOILER ALERT: It was the best weekend ever).
We arrived in New Orleans at 1:30 AM, so you could say that the whole trip was technically one really long, really awesome day. We piled into one huge hotel room in the French Quarter, blew up our air mattress, and wandered around the city until 3… then we woke up at 8 to grab some beignets and wander some more. We ate, we laughed, we explored, we drank, we sang, we danced, and we ate some more. It went by way, way too fast, and for the entire drive back the next day we couldn’t stop talking about what an amazing time we’d all had. So much so, that we decided to get together again. Our first reunion was this past Friday. We made a New Orleans style dinner complete with music, jambalaya, blackened tilapia, corn maque choux, bread pudding, and of course, wine. The magic was still there – we had just as much fun as ever, talking about life, cracking jokes, reminiscing over crazy things that happened on our trip, and toasting to everything under the sun.
So what do you do when you find a group like this? Appreciate it for what it is, and don’t let it die. It’s so easy for people to drift apart, especially during this time of life where everyone’s a nomad. Despite the fact that one of us is going to Australia, another to France, and another to Philadelphia (and then hopefully Africa), we made a pact that we would get together again. The mantra of our pact: “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. The world is our playground.” Fate may have brought us together, but it’s going to take a little bit of effort for us to keep this good thing going. This post is getting ridiculously cheesy and oddly evocative of the last lines of Brave (which I saw last night), but it’s TRUE folks, it’s TRUE.
Hang on to people who make you happy. Do something spontaneous. The world is your playground.