I took some time out to do something pretty spontaneous and I’m so glad I did it! I boarded a plane to London and two of my best friends had no clue I was coming. England is a place that is near and dear to my heart as I studied abroad in Plymouth, England when I was in college. This is where I met Natalie. My friend Kat, from Georgia, moved to London about 6 months ago with her husband.
Kat’s husband, Chris helped me organize my surprise meeting with Kat and it went even better then I imagined it would. I had just gotten off the plane and I was meant to get to this coffee shop in their neighborhood before Kat and Chris got there. Well, they arrived before me and I could see Chris sitting on a sofa as I was walking up the coffee shop. Kat had just gotten up to get water so I took that opportunity to run in as fast as I could, throw my suitcase to the side, and sit down next to Chris on the sofa. As Kat rounded the corner, she saw me there on the couch! Her mouth dropped! It was so great to see her and give her a big hug!
The next day, Kat helped me surprise Natalie. Natalie’s boyfriend, Max, got her to go to Starbucks for a surprise. When Natalie showed up to Starbucks she saw Kat sitting there, which Natalie though was an odd surprise because her and Kat hang out quite often. A few minutes later, I walked into Starbucks to surprise Natalie and her face looked SO shocked it actually worried me for a second! I hugged her gently and waited for her to process, and then she gave me a big bear hug and then I knew everything was okay of course! We cried and hugged and cried and hugged.
Being in England felt like home away from home as I got to visit other wonderful friends like Hannah and Sarah, Natalie’s Dad and grandparents….it was so wonderful to see people that I have not seen in awhile. I can’t believe it was 7 years ago that I boarded a plane to move there! How interesting it is that one decision can change your life so much. Going back this time with a ring on my left hand reminded me of how time has gone by so fast. I remember how much I missed David while I was studying abroad yet those feelings remained the same during this trip. David stayed home this time around, but he was super supportive and helped me along the way. I really did miss him though! Traveling is something that I have been passionate about since I moved away from Paris, France. They say that when you travel far enough, you meet yourself. And when you meet people along the way who become your best friends…well, that’s even better.
“Distance means so little when a friend means so much.”
I will be seeing everyone in October as they fly over for our wedding…..and I can’t wait for that!
Abby Byrd is a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Atlanta specializing in joyful film photography