For all my readers, please, somehow, make Carrie Hope Fletcher see this post! Once upon a time I was in a youtube video with Carrie after winning the venus #useyourand campaign competition to have a webchat with her. It was an amazing experience as it was, which you can read about here – but something even more extraordinary happened as a result of this video.
So. The fact I had even won something was a miracle. I mean I don’t normally win anything. Ever. Apart from a sports day certificate in primary school for golf, only because I told my teacher I never won anything and was terrible at sports and she must have felt some sympathy. Anyways. I entered this venus #useyourand campaign which was all about showing all the unique qualities you have, showcasing all the ands you have as a person and to show you’re not just subject to one entity. I’m not just a student. I am a blogger, and now a sort-of-not-quite vlogger. A sister. Girlfriend. Daughter. A reader. A disney fanatic. A lover of all things beauty. A crochetter. A knitter. A speaker of serbo-croat and yeah. Basically. Not just some random student that comes from a small unknown town in Britain. But, nobody is actually one entity. We are all, something more than just one label.
I won this chat with Carrie and was nervous as hell that I’d be meeting someone I consider an idol, and we happened to talk about my year abroad to Belgrade due to my studies in English and Serbo/Croat. Carrie added this part of our conversation into the video. The responses were amazing as it was. People were commenting good luck in Serbia, and to all that I do while I’m out there and you know, if I need any help to come holla. But, a bigger miracle than the competition, is that a girl called Ksenija messaged me also over my Whim twitter profile. And something urged me to private message her saying thanks.
We pretty much had the same thought at the same time, and that’s where it began. We started having small chats and thank god that twitter released unlimited messaging – because we couldn’t stop! Sure, my replies are notoriously late, but I made replies and those replies were essays. I’d met my first friend online. Initially, yes, I was terrified she would be a 40 odd year old paedophile. But I’m rather glad she wasn’t. Because she happens to have pretty much all of the same interests as I do! We love youtube, reading, the colour grey, we are lactose intolerant and both believe professor Snape is the best character in the Harry Potter series. The list, honestly, goes on for absolute miles and it was entirely clear that we got on like peaches and cream in an instant. As the conversations grew, slowly we realised just how similar we were and how well we got on together. I couldn’t believe it! My first online friend, and a friend who lived in the exact city I was spending my year abroad. At the same university, and everything!
We messaged all summer long, and then it was coming close to the flight to Belgrade. Well. We had to arrange to meet. Because this girl, I swear, is basically my long lost twin. The similarities between our personalities and the things we enjoy were entirely uncanny, and the coincidence that we messaged each other and that she happened to give the #useyourand campaign video in her sub box a watch, no matter on my atheist beliefs, this was fate. Or some form of witchcraft/wizardry.
I felt like before even meeting this girl I had a great friend waiting for me who would look after me and make me feel completely comfortable with being in a new country. Which honestly meant the world to me! I cannot even explain. Being an anxious person is one thing, but spending a year abroad knowing absolutely nobody to then feeling like you have a sister waiting for you, filled me with complete warmth. Over the summer I even converted her into a Whovian knowing that she would probably adore David Tennant as Doctor Who as much as I do. Did I mention, she also loves baking, isn’t always the most comfortable girl with going to clubs or drinking? Like I said – it’s like I found my long lost twin!
So, the morning came that we had arranged to meet. I walked out of my dorm to see her turning the corner. We then instantly ran towards each other, hugged and cried, and said “OMG YOU’RE ACTUALLY A REAL PERSON!”. The girl I’d been talking to for months, was entirely real. Her favourite animal is also an owl – although I’m also mad for gorillas at the same time, she similarly constantly has gifts with owls all over them at birthdays and Christmas. Unbelievable, I know!
And then after the big hug, she gave me a box. Full of dairy free cookies! And she said “I thought you could use some comfort food.” Those cookies were just. Odlicno (Perfect)! 😉
She had the day entirely planned. First, she would show me around Belgrade as I didn’t have chance the previous days, hence yesterday’s Day 2 boring blog post. First, we saw Kalemegdan fortress. By far my favourite place to be in Belgrade, as I’m a sucker for castles!
Luckily, the weather was entirely on our side for the day so all my photos look pretty spectacular. We explored the fortress before she toured me a little of Knez Mihalova Street, and Trg Republike and everything else I’d missed out on on my first few days there.
She then took me to by far the cutest restaurant ever – Smokvica. Also known as Little Fig. It was just right up my street. Everything about the decor and the interesting grub reminded me of Boston Tea Party, with a few more books and nice lanterns everywhere. Basically, it was as if she had known me my whole entire life and knew exactly the places I would love. And we chatted so much that time flew entirely by, and before we knew it we had been exploring and chatting for five hours straight, without feeling as if any time had passed at all!
Then, the day finished with the sunset over Sveti Sava.
By this point, we were even both getting our cameras out constantly, trying to take amazing photos of the day we had. Just to add into the mix of everything we had in common, this is someone I feel so comfortable in front of in terms of attempting to make nice photos and videos of our day. Basically, this was all just the perfect end to the most perfect day I’d had in a very long time. If it wasn’t for winning that competition, I wouldn’t have had one of the best days of my life so far, and I wouldn’t have met my double act from overseas if it wasn’t for being in the video, and for her clicking it in the first place. I have found a friend for life. And there ends the story. With two girls who live countries apart, who happen to be so one in the same it’s entirely surreal. One with Simba on a necklace, and one with the deathly hallows on a necklace. You couldn’t have paired two people more perfectly if you tried, especially, not entirely by chance. And she is by far, one of the nicest most amazing humans I have ever met.
So, Carrie, we thank you with everything! If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have met. It was all as if by magic.