Getting To Know You

South Island, here we come!

My flight from Los Angeles touched down in Auckland New Zealand bang on time at 8am, unlike my previous (read my post DELAYED) connections that were no where near on time. It had been many years since I last saw my friend and I wondered if she had changed in anyway? For years our main source of connection was through email, now we were going to spend three weeks together. Three weeks!

Her radiant smile greeted me at the airport and by 10am we were sitting in another terminal waiting to board a flight to Queenstown South Island. I was tired even though I had slept a few hours on the international leg of the journey, conversation was a little one sided and I hoped she didn’t think my lack of chattiness as rude.

After settling into our accommodation we (my friend, her husband and I) decided to do some sightseeing around town. Queenstown is a small but lively town bursting with tourists. The waterfront was a hive of activity with people walking, sunbathing, playing games, and sitting outside cafés drinking tea/coffee.

There’s a first time for everything.

This was my first trip to New Zealand and I was about to experience another first. They decided on eating at a Thai restaurant.  I had never eaten Thai food before but what the heck I was on vacation, be adventurous right?  I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it and have eaten Thai food several times since returning to the States.

DSCF0863There were some firsts I decided I was not going to experience. Bungee jumping from one of the many bridges that span over deep narrow valleys was a definite no, even though my friend did her best to persuade me. The only time I’m going to fly through the air with the greatest of ease is when the dead in Christ rise and we who are still alive will meet them in the air: now, that will be a first for me and one I look forward to.

Our South Island adventure took us to places such as Milford Sound with its majestic fiords and cascading waterfalls. To Glenorchy where a portion of Lord of the Rings was filmed. We travelled north east exchanging the magnificent rocky range of The Remarkables for rolling green landscape splattered with vineyards. Hours travelling in a car together talking, laughing, and asking questions about each others lives.

The adventure of re-getting to know each other had began. Had she changed? Well, yeah. She wasn’t looking twenty three anymore and neither did I. Other than aging, she still possessed a zest for life and the interests of her youth had deepened with time. I wondered, though I dared not ask, if she had noticed any changes in me other than the color of my hair? I would have to wait to find out the answer to my question.

With all the social media available it’s easy to keep in contact with each other. We follow our friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,  Snapchat, Texting and whatever else is out there. In long distance friendships that is all we have and we are grateful that we don’t do snail mail anymore having to wait weeks for a reply. However, none of these methods of communications can compare to talking face to face, sharing a meal, meeting for coffee, or going for a walk together. Getting to know someone is more than reading their words. It involves seeing their body language, their facial expressions, their reactions, their laughter and their tears all in real time. You can’t physically hug a friend when you are not with them.

It takes time and effort to meet with people but it is oh so worth it. Invite someone you know out for coffee or go for a walk together. Enjoy interacting with a real live person.  Put the phone on vibrate incase someone needs to contact you. Make new friends, get re-acquainted with old friends, and develop the friendships you already have.

What are some things you do when you are with your friends?  Share in the comment box. I look forward to hearing from you.