In 2010, surrounded by a busload of obnoxious college students travelling between Madrid and Portugal, a fellow Midwesterner and I formed a bond. Friendships come about in many ways, but for Morgan and me, all it took was a few too many Caipirinhas in a foreign country to solidify a friendship and make
mistakes memories we still talk about 5 years later.
Our study abroad adventures ended at different points within the next year, and Morgan became my long-distance girlfriend of sorts back in the states – each of us making many trips between UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison for a few too many drinks and the stories that come with them. After graduation, the stars aligned and she moved into the vacant bedroom in my Milwaukee college apartment. Morgan also brought a couple characters with her to the Brew City, girls who she’d studied with in Madrid. Alexandra and Christie moved into a duplex across the street, and we immediately appreciated their large porch, and washer and dryer.
It didn’t take long for me to mesh with A & C, and settle into a new group dynamic. Turns out, four freshly-graduated Midwestern girls who share an interest in travel, Spanish, and cheap wine become fast friends. We quickly dubbed ourselves the Murray Mistresses, navigating the awkward post-graduation chapter of life together – through the hours of porch sitting, unbearable jobs, epic house parties, online dates and mental breakdowns (believe me, there were many occurrences of each).
We look back on the two years we lived within a stones throw of each other and say, “those were the good ole days.” When you live across the street from your best friends, there’s no need for cell phones – a light on in the living room is an open invitation to let yourself in. It was kind of like the college dorms, except with people you actually like. Having not created such lasting friendships during college, I knew this was special and soaked it up. It’s the rare type of friendship where each personality in the group complements the others perfectly. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Now we fast-forward to the summer of 2014. Morgan and Christie’s travel bugs bite again, and our foursome is split in half between Milwaukee and Taipei, Taiwan. Smartphones, Skype and Snapchat are necessary to connect the illiterate but functional crew in Asia to the Smallwaukee gossip.
To be continued…