Yesterday my friend Elana sent me a random last minute text message while I was at work to see if I had time for a quick bite to eat. Since our lives get crazy and finding time to connect can sometimes be difficult I happily took her up on the opportunity to brave the frigid arctic air and meet for lunch.
I love how I met her. I was backpacking through Europe in 2001 for a couple months when my traveling took me to Nice, France. Anyone who has stayed at a hostel before knows that one thing you do not have a lot of generally is private space unless you get the pricier private rooms but when you are young and low on funds this is rarely the option. There is usually a large communal room to hang out. Some hostels have a cafe that you can order drinks and snacks. Some have it set up as a game room with books, board games and large tables for gathering. I met Elana in the common area of our hostel in Nice.
I found out that she was from the general area in NY where I grew up. I also learned that she went to college in Massachusetts. Seems like we had been following each other around all our lives without even knowing it. We hit it off instantly. We had similar personalities, enjoyed similar music (including Rent which we shamelessly belted out while wading through the Mediterranean sea in Monaco) and enjoyed the same kind of traveling activities.
While in Nice Elana came with me to have lunch with a cousin of mine who happened to be living there. We went out to breakfast together, we went for walks together, we went to dinner together. So naturally when it was time for me to move on and head to Italy it made sense to have her come along. I was headed to Milan to spend a few days at my friend Laura’s house. My friend Katie was flying in from NY to meet me there. Elana and I arrived in Milan, met up with Katie and enjoyed a few days there together. When it was time to leave Elana had to go meet another friend and so we split up but we never lost touch. 13 years later we continue to be in each other’s lives. It helps that she happens to live about 20 minutes away!
So we met up yesterday and went to Pret A Manger for a little catch up. As you can tell by the picture she is pregnant. She is due March 10th and I look forward to helping her celebrate the addition to her family. The best part was when she told me that she and her husband call the baby “nugget” which is exactly what my brother and sister-in-law call their baby due in April. Who knows maybe one day in a complete unrelated part of the world at a completely random time her baby and my brother’s baby will meet up. They may even be roommates in college!