Unexpected friendships across massive distances

Friendships look much different at 30 than I expected that they would.

I’ve got this friend Adam that I went to school with. We weren’t super close then, didn’t spent a ton of time at the same parties, and rarely hung out, but I had a flat on my car one time and he stopped what he was doing to help me fix it. And when my parents house flooded, he saw me post about it on Facebook and showed up on his way to work to do a couple of hours of work helping us clear the house.

Adam lives in Boston now, and every time I’m out there for work he invites me over for dinner. I showed up there about a month ago and he and his fiancé had furniture all over the living room that they were assembling. Adam apologized, but I was already rolling my sleeves up to help them assemble the entertainment center. I don’t see the dude often, but he’s my friend.

Last year, flying back from Europe, I watched the flight path of my plane from London to Houston fly directly over Toronto and I thought about the handful of good friends that I have in that city. I spent a week there over the summer hanging out with my buddy Ben and his wife, sleeping on their air mattress and working from his office. Ben came through SF on business a few weeks ago and crashed on my couch for a night.

That week, another buddy of mine bought a pair of Blue Jays tickets for us. He came through SF a couple weeks later and I returned the favor with Giants tickets.

This past week in Austin, I caught up with a number of people that I haven’t spent a ton of time with since I left, but seeing them was like nothing had changed.

Last year, I showed up in London about 4 days earlier than I expected and there was a couch for me to crash on.

If you had told me 4 years ago that these friendships would still exist, much less be people I could count on for a couch to crash on I wouldn’t have believed you.

And as I write these words, I realize how lucky I am and how much I have to be grateful for.

I didn’t anticipate that my friendships would be spread across the globe like this, but I’m incredibly thankful.

It makes me wonder if our relationships and friendships as adults ever turn out the way we expect them to as kids. It makes me wonder if we’re aware of how grateful we can be for the folks in our lives, even though they may be far away from us.

Hope this helps.

Austin W. Gunter


I’m Austin. I live in San Francisco, practice Tai Chi, have rheumatoid arthritis, listen to a lot of loud music, and host a lot of dinner parties. Want more? Start here.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *