2 dollars for 1 smile

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What could be more wonderful than stumbling upon friendship?  I studied abroad in Rome my junior year of college, and oops, silly me, I didn’t take an Italian language class before I moved there.  Typical American girl just got too excited about streets of gold, palaces of art, and endless gelato.  Best decision ever.

The school arranged for a representative to meet me at the airport and take me to my apartment.  Luckily, that representative forgot to show up, and I ended up walking to-and-fro in the Fiucimo Airport wondering how to get a cab.  I made a few inquiries, and within a couple minutes, I was swarmed with people claiming to be taxi drivers and promising the lowest price in Rome.

And then!

Like a dream come true, a pretty brunette grabbed my hand and asked if I was American.  I nodded my head yes, and she told me to come with her.   I followed her through the airport, and she explained about the importance of only using certified cab services, avoiding people without uniform, and always knowing the appropriate price beforehand.

We shared a cab to the university, and the 30 minute drive was filled with more jokes than a comedy show at Second City.  The two of us decided to meet up again the following weekend in Dublin.  Three weeks later we  found ourselves in Prague, six months later in Berlin, two years later in Chicago, and five years later (as in this past weekend) in Minneapolis.

Dear Clare, you’re the greatest friend in the world, and I’m so grateful that you came to visit.  I was going to post about making you a handmade Thank You card, but I just ended up writing all about you (couldn’t help myself).  Your card is included at the bottom of this post.  LOVE YOU.

Clare and Jen circa 2008:
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At my 2013 wedding:
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I made Clare’s thank you card by making sketches on paper, uploading the drawings onto my computer, and then arranging them into fun designs:
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27 thoughts on “2 dollars for 1 smile

  1. I saw the adorable picture at the top of this post in my reader and immediately knew it was you. What a fantastic story! The best friendships happen completely by chance; total fate. LOVED this post so so much. Smiles galore 🙂
    -Kaitlyn

  2. isn’t that just proof that friendships are meant to happen? i love the story and love that you are still in touch after all these years!! i love your card, too…how unique and pretty!

  3. What an incredible friendship and thank you for sharing it with us! 🙂 True friends are like a rainbow… never-ending and full of brilliant colors! 🙂

  4. What a lovely story! One of the best things about travelling is the friends you make, I think – something about that unique shared experience, being in the right place at the right time, makes for very special friendships!

    • Very true- I’ve made a couple life-long friends while traveling. I think it has a bit to do with being vulnerable in a foreign land and opening up to people more easily. Luckily, I’ve used some of those skills to make new friends at home, too. Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂

  5. Love the card and love our friendship. you are the best! ps. that day in Berlin was awesome too – I think it was when we bought the deck of German cards that we couldn’t use since they didnt count up to 52. lol. xo

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