Long-time Friends and Long-term Friendships


In two weeks I had a visitor.

A good friend of mine from Switzerland was headed down here to Korea for 2 weeks in the beginning of July. As soon as Marco confirmed that he bought his flight, my first reaction was “sweet!”.

I found myself thinking about how incredible it was that Marco, Sary and I were still friends. We met while attending the same university back in 2009, but after one semester, they both came back to their country. They had been exchange student in Chung-ang University. They chose to take the more traditional path(Marco has focused to get CFA and I was told by Marco that Sary got a job) and has lived in Swiss and I’ve spend those years like they have been doing same.

The more I thought about it, the more I am amazed that we are still friends.

Maintaining friendships, especially those friends from the years we spend growing up and going to school, is difficult under normal circumstances, let alone when one of you is never in the country. But it’s not impossible.

I know that this is a very real concern for a lot of people who might be interested in long term friendships, moving overseas or even just moving to a new city. It’s quite difficult to part with close friends ?and it’s often frightening to think about having to?maintain the relationships.

But here’s what I’ve learned during the past 5 years, and it applies to anyone thinking about embracing the concept of international friendship.


You will never lose your true Friends


Sometimes I don’t see my closed friends for two or three years at a time, but that doesn’t affect the strength of our friendship. My true friends are those people that I can’t Imagine not having as friends. I care about what is going on in their lives at all times and they care about what is happening in mine. We may be distant both lifestyle decisions and geographical location, or we may be similar, but it doesn’t affect the friendship.

We respect each other, we can rely on each other and we know that no decision we each make in our lives can change that. I’m not saying that it doesn’t take some effort to maintain these friendships, especially when you’are away from these friends most of time, but I can make it happen in despite of the seeming impossibility.

Before snapping into the real posting, I really want to be reminded about what happened ?in Switzerland by 4 years ago blog post.

Here is the reminding 5 post as below.

1. Chiller <Click this post making you to connect my past blog)

2. What I do love most about Zurich

3. The essence of Joy

4. St.Galler Fest

5. Good Bye





?This photo was taken when I visited Marco’s parents.



Taken when we visited TK’s Syndrome.


This Food has been called “Dak-ddong-jip”


In the subway with “Han”


In “Bong-gu Beer”


We have been staying together in my studio located on Sindaebang.


Korean Traditional Foods with AMY in Sinsa Garosu-gil.


?No explanation necessary.


Bowling match. We didn’t expect AMY was going to win. She the best yes.


“Prost” with AMY



?We are heading for Tong-Yong



My father has been working as German Literature professor for the last 20 years. Marco’s mother language is German. They are talking with in German.





In front of my parent’s house.


Dong-Pi-Rang town.



IMG_1745IMG_1741 IMG_1743


IMG_1760 IMG_1816 IMG_1809

Drinking party with the amazing Tong-yong night view.




Busan station with Soo.

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My cousin “Chang-bo” and Marco





Japanese Spaghetti Restaurant




?The two of us has a farewell party.




He is leaving for Incheon International airport.


Sure, My friends visit me from time to time, but I also visit them. I organize an entire trip with the sole purpose of visiting friends in a particular region of the world like they do. What better way to immerse yourself in a culture than to spend time with friends who actually live there. You also might save a few money on accommodations as well. We see each other friend often, just not the same ones all the time.

We have been so much happy since we met again in Incheon airport where I came to picked him up. It’s beyond description.

Yes, this has happened to me.


5 thoughts on “Long-time Friends and Long-term Friendships

  1. Marco

    During the 2 weeks spent in Seoul, Ilsan, Tong-yong and Busan I gained so many valuable, life-long lasting experiences with my friend Alex. I am so grateful we keep our international friendship on a long-term basis, even it takes a lot of patience and effort, but eventually the return you get from maintaining a real friendship might be more than you can imagine – as it was in my case. I got deeply exposed into the korean lifestyle of my friend – I met his family, some of his lovely friends and colleagues and lived in a really small room :) These are the extraordinary aspects of having an international friendship, getting the original and unbiased insights into a different culture, lifestyle and making new friends. That’s how I can learn more about life, improving myself through being open-minded, that’s how I broaden my personal horizon.

    Entering the bus at Sindaebang thursday morning after having breakfast on the street an doing our last valuation, leaving Seoul and heading back to Switzerland makes me feeling emotional and exciting for the coming future. Thank you Alex for this amazing time and for giving me further motivation! At the end, its all about friendship, whether you come from the other part of the world, live another culture, what matters is personality, and I would like to encourage everyone to make this happen – there are no boarders you cannot cross – it will certainly payoff!

    See you soon!

  2. 고기영

    멋지십니다~~ 외쿡 친구와 우정ㅠ
    한국에서 좋은 추억만 가져갔으면 좋겠네요~~
    저도 연락 끊겼던 Pavi라는 친구랑 연락해봐야 겠어열ㅎ 와우

  3. Solomon An

    Looks wonderful ! Im sure you had the great times with marco . Acually I was so impressed by the club shots n good nature views in Tong Young city. Good trip wit good friend should be always Happy!!

  4. AMY

    I had amazing weekend with two guys~! itaewon, jongro, playing bowling. everything is good memory to me :) thank you Alex to invite me this kind of dinner and make good friend to me (Marco) (^0^)~♪ i have motivation to learn english for talking more with Marco and for introduce Korea culture. Alex~! you are amazing person and will sucessful in life. i can feel it ~! Marco is so gentle guy and nice. good luck my freinds:)

  5. Estelle

    Looks like you had a lot of fun! It’s really great that you’re able to keep in touch with old friends. I know how difficult it is seeing as most of my closest friends live in the US. Remind me to ask you for a list of some great, not so well known places to visit around Seoul. Great blog!