So, I'll let you all in on a little secret...
Everyone is good at making friends, you do it everyday, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. But who can say that they can 'make' their friends, quite literally.
If you were stranded on an island, or like I will be in October - about to become a solo traveller - you can sympathise that it could get pretty lonely out there at some point. So what better skill to have than the ability to 'make' friends, when there isn't even anyone else around - awesome right?
The ability will help you on those lonely nights, those long, hot journeys, the days or nights when you really just want someone to talk to, or to share that gossip with over a cocktail and a sunset, or to even let out that anger on. They will not only lend you friendship but could even come in handy for other uses, like transport, food, drink, a hunting buddy...their qualities are endless.
There are many ways to 'make' friends along your travels, or even in your day to day life. Just take an object, animal, statue or things like sand or snow, and it is your canvas to a brand new mate for life...or maybe just a few hours/days;
First up, there is the ever-friendly giant - the elephant. I made many of these gentle friends on a recent trip to Thailand - and they just adore a human companion! They are great for kisses, hugs and to find a source of water - even better - to drench you when you're getting a little too hot!
However Elephants not only make great companions - they also 'never forget' so those times when you get lost? No problem - the elephant will find you a way back! And why not hitch a ride back while you're at it? They make a great (albeit slow) form of transport - don't count on getting there before dark though if there are lots of tasty snacks along the way!
Another great friend would be the trusty Snowman - he may come accross as a little scary sometimes, but he's the 'coolest' friend ever. He's also great at keeping a supply of food close at hand whilest keeping it chilled. Feel like a snack? Just take a bite from his nose!
Even better, a Snowman can also be a great chum to crack open that bottle of bubbly with - whilst keeping it chilled at the same time!
Next up is the 'famous friend' - everybody wants to meet someone who's famous. So why not 'make
' friends with Wilson?! You know, that football who made his career break in Castaway, with Tom Hanks? Since then he's had a bit of cosmetic surgery and become a coconut. I met Wilson on a private beach in Koh Phangnan and we became great friends. What's more, good ol' Wilson can also come in handy for a drink, could make a great football (though don't kick too hard), and can be a great entertainer - he even let us reinact Tom Hanks' moment of frustration and throw him in the sea - don't worry - he's fine, last time I heard he'd washed up on a beach in Australia.
But of course, to end, I couldn't miss off my friends for life - cuddles, times of stress, times of joy - they've been my true friends since birth - my travelling Teddy's! They've weathered it all over the last 25 years - for example getting lost in a maid's laundry hamper in Florida (and my refusal to leave without them) - they are probably the most well travelled bears in history...and have many more days of travelling to come!
So there you have it - my best kept secret!