Mapping friendship: an experiment

Distance and relationships

This post is based on a Writing101 prompt: let a map be your muse.

First, I want to say that I was impressed with Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge, a “Google Maps essay” as the author puts it. I love cross-media projects and digital storytelling in general, and this one was inspiring. The map isn’t necessary to the story but it really adds to it by rooting it in reality. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to use the same medium, so I decided to write about my friends from France and other countries – only 10 friends for now.

Mapping friendship

Mapless mapping

Real-life friends

Versailles: L
L and I met in high school in 2003. At first, I didn’t like her, but when we ended up in the same class, I realised how great she was and we bonded. She’s smart, funny, lively, resilient, and I admired her for all of that. I have lost many friends over the years, but she’s a constant in my life – my best friend.

Paris: M
Much like with L, my first impression when I met M in 2011 wasn’t particularly positive, but we hit it off when we started talking about video games. She’s a sweet girl and my instinct is always to protect and defend her. It broke my heart when she moved to Paris, but we still see each other.

Toulon: A
I was introduced to A by my brother-in-law in 2011 and had never met anyone like him. He’s blunt, funny, reliable, and does the best Toothless impersonations. Whenever my partner is away, he’s the one I turn to when I’m sad or need help with something. He’s like a big brother to me.

Toulon: M
I met M through A in 2011 and the first thing that I noticed about her was how pretty she is. But she’s also smart, kind, a cat charmer and a great cook! For a long time we only saw each other in group, but now that she lives closer to my home, I get to see the “real” her which I like even more.

Toulon: E & A-C
They were together when I met them in 2013 and are still together today so I didn’t see the point of separating them. E is the only one of my partner’s colleagues I have really bonded with, and his partner A-C is nice, funny, and always ready to try something new. Also, they’re total foodies.

Online friends

Chemnitz: R
I started skyping with R in German and French at the end of October 2014 and we met in Paris in June 2015. He’s a nice guy, he’s curious about a lot of things, makes me laugh, and always has stories to tell. I like how he pours his heart out to me every week, which I see as a sign of trust.

Mannheim: M
M and I started skyping in November 2014 in German and French and recently added English and Spanish. She’s one of the sweetest people I have ever met and has a beautiful voice, I could listen to her for hours no matter what language she speaks. I really look forward to meeting her.

Leipzig: D
D and I started skyping in December 2014 in German and French. He’s the person I want to be when I grow up – smart, curious, independent, hard-working, sporty, and a vegan. It is difficult to find things to talk about as he’s like the most adult person I know and makes me feel like a teen!

Sevilla: T
T and I started skyping at the end of August 2014 in Spanish, French, and English. She’s really nice, even when she “forces me” to work on my Spanish pronunciation. She likes many of the same series as I do and is also into superhero films, so there’s no risk of running out of things to talk about!

Kagoshima: B
B and I started skyping in May 2015 in English and some French as he was trying to prepare for his honeymoon in Paris. We don’t talk often, but when we do, we can talk for hours without stopping. He’s my absolute favourite person to skype with, he makes me laugh like no one else, it’s crazy!


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