They say "you win some, you lose some", right? Well, I'm not entirely sure who "they" are, but I'd have to say I agree with them. Especially when it comes to friendships and traveling.
I'm not saying I was insanely popular before I started traveling, or that I have 0 friends now (side note: ask Siri what zero divided by zero is, thank me later), I just happen to have noticed a drastic difference in my social life from when I first started living in LA four years ago and didn't travel much, to now.
Oh, I should probably mention that the reason why I named my blog, "My Life's a Movie", was because initially I wanted to poke fun at the fact that I live in the middle of Hollywood, where celebrity sightings and red carpet events are normal on a daily basis, yet I have nothing to do with the "industry". Before I started traveling, I'd go to most of those events and parties, not entirely sure how the hell I fit in, and eventually I started wondering what in the hell I was doing in general.
One day, I decided I wanted to do more in life than just go to Hollywood events and parties, and decided to go volunteer in Africa. Then, KABOOM! Before I knew it, the travel bug bit me hard A F in the ass, and my entire life did a quadruple three-sixty, if that's even possible, which I am now reflecting on.
Yes, traveling caused me to lose some friends, and definitely lose a lot of party invites. But what I've gained is SO much better, and definitely worth the loss. Here's why.
It Made Me "Find Out Who My Friends Are"
When you travel a lot, it means a lot of time spent not at home. That means you probably won't always be around to go to that awesome party or birthday, be a wing-person at the club, or on the contrary, look at wedding ideas on Pinterest, and help plan bachelorette activities.
Let's just say that I wasn't asked to be in my best friend since highschool's wedding party because, "She knew I wouldn't be around to help with it." It made me feel like convenience was more important than our friendship.
The same thing happens when I return to LA from traveling, and certain friends can't come hang before I leave for another month because they have a "dinner they can't get out of." That's fine, I understand. But what I don't understand is how I'm always willing to make plans with them when I'm there, yet the only time they want to make plans with me is if they need me to be there for some reason...like because their boyfriend's best friend wants to come to dinner, or they have a client in town that needs to go out.
Traveling does make it hard to maintain friendships, but it also makes it very easy to find out who really is a true friend, and who is only there when it's convenient for them.
I'm so thankful for the friends I have who will stop by to say hi before I leave for a trip, who will offer to give me a ride to the airport, and who will even just send me a random text asking how my current adventure is going. Traveling has also helped me gain a lot of new friends who like to do the same things as me, which makes me really appreciate the things you learn when you open your mind.
It Gave me 0 Desire to Gossip
Most people have that one friend that just will never shut up about other people's business. I live in LA, so obviously I know TONS of people like this, but have found that it has become increasingly difficult to stay friends with them. Not only do I not want to hear about negative opinions, but traveling has made me become an anti-gossip queen, which gives people who gossip 0 desire to gossip with me. Detrimental loss, I know.
I'll complain about my guy problems sometimes, which usually sparks some interest...but since the extent of my guy problems is not being able to find a hot, sexy, smart, funny, awesome, adventurous man to just travel the world with me, most people just don't want to hear it. Not that I can blame them...I don't even want to hear it.
It Made Me Prefer A Night In Over A Night Out
Maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe it's because I'm jaded from the excitement and richness of traveling, but these days I'll take a night in over a night out pretty much any night of the week. I used to go out all the time. Hell, I was one of THE (many) social butterflies of the Hollywood scene, and would literally schedule my nights around when I needed to start getting ready so I could go out.
Now...not so much. Not only do I now get ready in about 10 minutes (and haven't touched a curling iron in months), but I'd MUCH rather stay in and research my next trip, write articles to help other people travel, and have actual friends over who just want to drink wine and chat, over go out and make small talk at a bar or club.
That means the friends I had back in my "going out" days won't hit me up nearly as much, if at all, because let's face it...traveling the world is just really boring compared to going to nightclubs.
It Showed How Jealousy is the Worst Policy
Unfortunately, jealousy gets the best of us sometimes, and it can not only ruin our mood, but it can ruin friendships as well. I'm not going to blatantly say that I've had some "friends" stop talking to me because I knew they were jealous of how much I travel, since no one has exactly said that.
Instead I'll refer to the (many) passive-negative comments, remarks, accusations, and taunts I've heard from "friends" regarding what I say about traveling, and from my actual travels. From, "Well you're never even here, so..." to "Love what you're doing, but you may want to not start sounding like you've won an Emmy until bigger things happen", I've literally heard it all.
People ask me how I deal with the negative comments that people I've never met leave on my articles...well, they don't even phase me because of how much negativity I've dealt with from people I actually know and care about. Bring it, betch.
It Proved "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" is Real
"Hey Alyssa, you're probably not in the country, but if you are, come by blah this weekend!" It's texts like these that really make me realize that other people realize I'm not in town often. When people know you're never in town, they tend to never try to make plans with you.
Although I'm not mad at all about the drastic decline in promoter mass texts, I do get a bit of FOMO when I miss the invitation for the big event in Malibu that everyone is going to. Then again there's a good chance I'd be missing it due to traveling, which is where I'd always rather be anyway, and although not everyone will like me for that, true friends will always appreciate it.