My last trip to Europe was one of those adventures that showed me the true value of travelling with trusted friends. We were on a choir trip throughout Germany, France and the Czech Republic, singing in castles and fortresses and having a marvellous time. As you might expect with a group of twenty-somethings, drinking and getting up to mischief played a leading role in the trip.
It was on one of these nights that the power of friendship really shone for me. While in Prague a group of the choristers decided it was a must to try absinthe, in the customary fashion. Each of us ordered one double shot, with a flaming sugar cube. Feeling the heat from the flame lick my face as I slurped down the shot, made me feel invincible.
Which is when the trouble began… I hadn’t really been feeling any effects after about five minutes, so decided with another friend to have another double shot. I should have taken into account 3 things prior to ordering though. The first was that absinthe does not hit your body in the same way as any other alcohol; it feels completely different. Secondly, I should have acknowledged that I was a very tiny girl (5’3” and 120 lbs), while my friend was 6’3” and build like a brick house. Lastly, and this really has come through the experience of age: my body needed time to fully process what I was imbibing in.
Many of you will be shaking your heads in either recognition or consternation at my stupidity. Truly there is not any excuse for it. Most of the remainder of the night I have absolutely no recollection of. The things I do remember is a shoulder wrapped around me for support as we walked through the streets, a cold cloth being placed on my face, and my oldest friends tucking me into bed.
There are many people in this world that would be absolutely appalled and upset at me for ruining their night. My two girlfriends instead regaled me with tales of their own adventures and said none of it would have been possible without me. There are occasionally times I look back and see the irresponsibility of the situation. Most of the time, though, I look back and remember the love and care that my friends displayed for me.
Travel tip? If imbibing in something unpredictable, like absinthe in your travels, be sure to have a trusted friend along for the ride. If you get into a spot of trouble, they’ve always got your back.