This is a story about friendships made on study abroad, but this specific friendship already kicked off back in Glasgow. During my first Fresher’s week at GU I had met a group of Americans visiting from Denver (Colorado). We became great friends from the first time we met; writing on each other’s T-shirts at the White T-shirt party in QMU, banging on the ceiling in the beer bar of the GUU while singing to ‘Sweet Caroline’ and fortunately even living in the same University halls. As this was my first time in Scotland as well, we explored our new home together. However, we all knew that they were only visiting for one semester and at Christmas we would have to part. It was hard to say goodbye, but I was sure that one day I would visit their hometown, so that they could show me around.
Now, studying in the United States myself, I finally had the chance to make this happen. After being bombarded by comments of how I should leave California and come to Colorado instead, I finally stepped onto a plane to Denver to visit my American friends that I hadn’t seen for 2.5 years.
It was wonderful to finally see and experience all the things that they had told me about before. The shiny skyscrapers of Denver are surrounded by majestic snow covered mountain ranges that proudly emerge at every direction. The city is filled with microbreweries, street art and well kept red brick buildings. To be honest, Denver was even better than I expected!
Bridget and I hiked to St. Mary’s Glacier together, out in the American wilderness, which is only a half an hour drive away. Alec & I started off the day with a massive brunch at ‘Snooze’ and then he gave me a private tour through the city centre and the State Capitol with its Golden dome. Chris made me try a hot dog made of rattlesnake and pheasant meat and we then sipped on some nice ales at the Denver Beer Company. We also had some amazing ice cream that is sold out of a massive milk can – pretty cool! Gaia brought us to a delicious restaurant, which mainly serves deserts – what a great idea and place! As my friends are all ‘adults’ now (graduated and working), I also had time on my own to explore the museum of contemporary art.
Together with Bridget I additionally had the chance to explore some of Denver’s nightlife, such as dancing away to Cowboy tunes at the so-called ‘Cowboy lounge’ or playing the drinking game ‘True America’, which some of you may know from ‘New girl’. After a long night of good beers and dancing we got ourselves a slice of cheesy macaroni pizza – “This is America!”
Another unique event that I got to experience during my time in Denver was a snow blizzard. Everyone continued checking any updates on the blizzard warnings and the weather forecast. The airlines cancelled flights and I even changed my flight back home. Before the day it was meant to snow, Bridget and I went to the busy supermarket to stock up on food in case we get snowed in. Then over night Denver transformed from having sunny T-shirt weather to snow covered streets. Unfortunately, we actually didn’t get snowed in but we still baked our brownies and had long puzzle sessions.
A big warm thank you to Bridget, Alec, Chris and Gaia for such wonderful days in your hometown. Denver is a great place, but especially because of my friends that make the Denver that I know. Gaining new friendships on your study abroad is just a wonderful thing and you can learn so much from each other. By staying in touch a friendship like this can be maintained and maybe even last for a lifetime.