Going the Distance


I stood in line at the post office clutching the delivery notice I received in the mail. Apparently a package had arrived with my name on it. As I peered around the next person in line, I shifted in place in anticipation of what was waiting for me behind the counter.

The wrapping was off before I got back to the car. Like a secret agent in a mission impossible scene, I stopped mid-sidewalk to speedily extract the contents, leaving bystanders to think the parcel might actually self-destruct in 5 seconds.

My heart swelled as I saw the sending address read Wieden, and I pulled out a thick postcard with I MISS YOU printed across the front. There was only one person this could be from. My dear friend Gaby, who I last saw in Vienna over four years ago.

I sat on my bed as I unboxed the rest of the contents at home and laid each trinket on my duvet. Glancing at the German newspaper and packaging inside, a certain nostalgia swept over me. Life in Vienna was amazing. I remember walking through the streets gaping at the endless architecture of a bygone age. Bakeries on every corner filling the subways with the smell of sweet, freshly baked pastry. Entering the dark periphery of the opera house for a measly 3 euros to soak up every note of the orchestra, while waiting, watching and sleuthing my way to an empty seat closer to the front during intermission. Looking back, I was living on cloud nine. With European objects appearing in my room, this happy cloud came right back to life. Along with the thought that teleportation should have been invented by now. We're waiting on you, Elon.

Removing the last of the packaging I unfolded a paper to find a small, shiny object: a silver ring elegantly twisted to form the word LOVE. Right then I was reminded. Of just how privileged I am. That long after the sights, sounds and smells of life abroad have faded, I've been fortunate to meet people all over the world who have left permanent trails of love on my heart. For this is what matters most.

This month, I’m sending letters and gifts to friends I love, especially those I don’t get to see very often. Because life is too short. To not go the distance to show people how much they mean to you. And because surprise mail is in my opinion, the best thing next to all you can eat ice cream Christmas.