Everyone warned me not to fall in love in Australia. They all had a cousin, a friend of a friend, a brother’s girlfriend’s cousin’s husband, or a daughter who had done it. Said person went travelling for what they thought would be a couple months, but then sparks flew, feelings were caught, and that couple of months turned into permanent love-englufed residence.

I promised my mom I wouldn’t fall in love.

I promised her it wouldn’t happen.

I broke my promise.

I fell in love in Australia, but not like the cousins, friends of a friend, or brother’s girlfriend’s cousin’s husbands had. I fell in love with my best friends. When Kelsey and I told people we were going to travel Australia for one year together, most of them gave us wary looks and asked if we thought we could do it. Along with everyone who had fallen in love in Australia, more people knew someone who had travelled with their best friend to return home and never speak again.

Kelsey and I promised each other we would always be honest no matter what.

We promised each other that if we fought (which we would) we’d get over it.

We kept that promise.

Not only did we keep that promise, we added someone else to the pact: Sarah. Because if two girls couldn’t travel and live together for one year, three could, right? Right. No seriously, right.

We met Sar during our first month in Sydney and immediately bonded over our Canadian nationalities. She lived in Saskatoon, and we lived in Winnipeg – it was meant to be. Eventually, Sarah moved in with us in Sydney where we lived for a few months before we all moved to Melbourne. After a couple months in Melbourne, we travelled the East coast, New Zealand, and Hawaii together.

It took us three weeks of living together in Sydney before we decided to get matching tattoos. Three weeks. Matching tattoos. I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too.

People always talk about ‘meeting the one’ and ‘love at first sight’ and ‘soul mates’ and all that romantic love jazz, but when I think of soul mates I think of Sarah and Kelsey. Seriously, I don’t think I could have survived the whirlwind that was Australia without them. In fact, I know I couldn’t have. It’s the morning life talks, the Taylor Swift workout parties, the wine and cheese nights, the cuddles, and the endless shenanigans with Sarah and Kelsey that I miss most about Australia.

None of us understands how we did it. Maybe it was our work schedules that gave us time apart, our differences in personalities that evened each other out, or our twisted senses of humour, but somehow we formed an unnaturally close bond. And I say unnaturally close because I realize it’s weird. Okay, I admit it’s weird. Y’all hear that?

The three of us spent the last week in Hawaii laying on the beach and drinking cheap rum together. I think I cried four times prior to our farewell at the airport that week. All it took was looking at Sarah to make me tear up. When it finally came time to say good bye, we got a lot of weird looks from people around us. We’re at an airport, leave us alone.

We made more promises at the airport that day. We promised that we would start a group chat the moment Kelsey got a new phone, we promised that we would have an Australian reunion when we’re 45, we promised we would attend each other’s university graduations, and we promised that we would visit.

So far, we’ve kept those promises. Kelsey and I were in Saskatoon this weekend, and that’s what sparked this emotional post. It’s the second time we’ve seen Sarah since saying goodbye in Hawaii (she came to Winnipeg in November), and we already have plans to see each other again in the summer.

Out of all the promises I’ve made in the past year and a half, I’m sorry the only one I broke was to my mom. It’s not exactly what she thought would happen, and after getting over the initial shock of my tattoo (that I waited approximately seven months to show her), I think she’s forgiven me. After all, you can’t fight soul mates, right? Right.

Me, Kels, and Sarah during our most recent reunion in Saskatoon this weekend.

If you need any other convincing that you should travel with your best friend beside my love confession for mine, here’s a Cosmo article that outlines it pretty well: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a41341/traveling-with-your-best-friend/