Making friends as an adult is hard, man. I miss the days when you would meet someone in class and become besties or have playdates set up for you. Life was so easy. As an adult, free time is so precious you can’t squander it away. Life is so busy that it’s hard to make the time and sync schedules.
The relationships you maintain become about quality and not quantity. Every friendship is special with what it adds to your life. The mom friend, the workout friend, the childhood friend, the bury-the-body drinks-on-Friday friend. They each fit into a different aspect of your life. I’m here to say that you need to make sure your squad includes the TFF.
What is a TFF? A TFF is a Traveling Friend Forever.
Why do you need a TFF? I’m glad you asked:
1. They are traveling companions.
Planning a vacation? Call your TFFs. Out of ALL of your friends, they are the most likely to come and help split the costs. (Disclaimer: most traveling friends will need advanced notice because they may already be booked). TFFs will be great entertainment and you create more memories for you to share. The friendship only gets stronger. Most TFFs are flexible, so you can be attached at the hip for adventures together or they can be have their own travel agenda and you guys connect at dinner.
2. They encourage you to travel more.
Contemplating whether you should take a trip? Ask your TFF’s advice, they will always tell you the benefits of self-care.
Additionally, these are people who love to travel as much as you do. If they aren’t inviting you to come visit them (which you should totally do), or travel with them (see point 1), then they are constantly posting pictures of places they are traveling to. You will have constant reinforcement to keep traveling.
3. There is this official unofficial network that you belong to
Going to a foreign country? Tell a TFF. They may have been there already and can recommend the must-sees. They are the best kind of travel resource, because they know you and they know the place. Even if they haven’t been there, they know somebody who knows somebody who has and will be the connect.
This has been my experience several times over. Even when I moved to New Zealand I had a friend of a friend who lived in Auckland. Our mutual friend and her hadn’t spoken in months but when she mentioned that I was coming, the Auckland friend and I had lunch which turned into us exploring the city and her taking me to the Auckland museum.
4. They are low-maintenance friends
Something about traveling… I can’t explain it, but all of my TFFs understand that life is busy. Most of my TFFs are scattered across the globe on their own journeys. I’m ever so grateful to be alive in the time where someone is a FaceTime, Text, Call, or DM away.
You don’t have to talk to these people every day (personally I speak to each of them on average 2-3 times a year). When you do reconnect with them it’s like no time has passed at all and there is a genuine camaraderie that is there.
5. They are THE BEST Tour Guides
Remember how I said you should take them up on their offer to visit them? I mean it. I have taken the opportunity to visit my TFFs on their own home turf and have NEVER experienced better hospitality. Not just from them, but from their family and friends too. This is especially great if you aren’t fluent in the local language. They know all the little hot spots that even trip advisor doesn’t know about. Bonus: You don’t get suckered by the tourist traps…AND the level of security you feel knowing that you won’t get lost!
6. They come visit you
I don’t know about you, but I get excited to host my friends. We can go out and I can show them around. I can show them all my favorite restaurants and I look super cool because I know all the shortcuts. Not to brag or anything… but at one point I lived in Orlando,Fl and had the hookup with Disney World and Universal Studios tickets.
Traveling Friends are special but, they aren’t special just because they travel (won’t lie, traveling does give them a lot of cool points). They are special because they are inspiring, they are supportive, they are giving, they go for what they want. These are attributes that everyone should look for in any friend.
If traveling isn’t your thing, then your TFF can stand for ‘True Friend Forever’. One of my TFF’s often quotes “Your network is your net worth”. I love this quote! The people you surround yourself with will influence your life and how you deal with it. My network has entrepreneurs, artists, corporate ladder climbers, introverts, extroverts, silly people, straight-laced people. Variety is the spice of life!
Although those in my network have different motivations and perspectives, the baseline is they all have attributes that I find valuable. From ambition to compassion, my TFFs have given me something to aspire to.
Until next time,
Pella the pilgrim.
Some reunions with my TFFs.