when and how did you meet?
monica: taylor and i met while doing a yoga teacher training course in greece. we spent a month together on a gorgeous greek island and within the first week it felt like we had been friends our whole lives.
taylor: we met at the athens airport last july, where we were going to embark on an immersive yoga teacher training in kythera, greece. i was so nervous, not knowing anybody, but there was something about monica and her mom that just put me at ease. from that moment, i hoped and hoped that we would become great friends -- and here we are! honestly, i don't think it took us very long to realize how well we "clicked" together.
what’s your most vivid memory of each other?
monica: we went to our favourite beach one day during our free time between classes (it was on the other side of the mountain from where we were staying). on our way back we had some music on shuffle and miley cyrus' "the climb" came on. we both looked at each other and said, “we’re actually climbing a mountain right now!” we both thought it was just too funny and we sang and danced in the car to the whole song. my mom was in the back seat and took a video of it. i love watching it thinking back on that memory.
taylor: the most vivid memory i have of monica is a memory of the two of us actually that, luckily for us, her mom caught on video. i couldn't be more grateful to monica's mom for having taken the candid video because it encapsulates who we are as goofy, spirited individuals but also who we are as friends. monica was driving us back to our villas, under the beautiful golden hour sunshine, after a day at this gorgeous beach on the island called "diakofti beach". to get back to our villas we had to drive up this massive mountain/cliffside and just as we began driving up the mountainside, miley cyrus’ “the climb” started playing from monica’s playlist.
there was a moment where we looked at each other and thought, “we are literally climbing a mountain right now and this song comes on?!” the moment couldn’t have been more perfect, so, naturally, we started singing at the top of our lungs between fits of giggles and car dancing. that whole moment, too, acts as a metaphor for us, on our trip – we weren't only driving up this mountain, but throughout the whole trip, we overcame some of our fears and bravely tried new things, most of which i knew i couldn't have done without monica by my side. (one such moment included jumping off a boat into the sea, after which i heard monica yell out to me, "i am so proud of you!" that meant the world to me.) to this day, whenever i see that video, i feel like i’m back in the car, driving
do you have any nicknames for each other?
monica: i don’t have any nicknames for taylor other than the typical shortened version of “tay”. she’s just so pure and has such a sweet spirit. when i think of all of her amazing qualities i just think...that’s taylor.
taylor: i can’t take credit for these nicknames because they originated from monica’s friends back home, but i’ve kindly adopted them: mon, “bon bon”. however, i mostly call her monica because, to me, she's just monica -- one of my best friends whose spirit radiates from her soul, who dances freely to mamma mia with me in a parked car, and who simply makes me want to be the best version of myself.
describe the exact moment that you realized you were kindred spirits.
monica: i don’t know if there was an exact moment for me. it just felt like everyday we were there, we just grew closer and closer together and found out more and more that we had in common. we have the same favourite tv show, some of the same fears/worries, same sense of humour, our moms are our best friends, and so much more. that island was magical and it was not a coincidence that we met there; it was meant to happen. she has inspired me so much. even now when we are far apart we talk all the time and she is still such an inspiration to me.
taylor: there were many moments throughout our training where i realized we were kindred spirits, but one funny moment that stuck out for me was finding out that we were separately watching our favourite tv show in our rooms during down time between training. it's a little moment and to others perhaps not too exciting, but it capped off my already strong intuition that we were meant to find each other. i don't know if i can quantify such a moment because there were many little moments where i just felt like i'd known her my whole life, when it had only been a couple of weeks. to this day, i feel like i've known her my whole life, and those kinds of friendships are rare and so very special. i am beyond grateful to have her beautiful soul in my life.
what does your pin mean to you?
monica: i received a package in the mail from taylor with extremely sweet and thoughtful gifts. when i opened up the pin i immediately read the little story attached to it. going to greece for a month was a big step for both of us. the pin reminds me that embarking on this journey was the best decision i’ve ever made, as well as how lucky i was to meet taylor on that trip. receiving the pin from taylor is a sign that our travels together are not over. we are working on plans to travel to europe together as well as visiting each other’s hometowns. it’s a sweet reminder of one of the best times of my life.
taylor: the minute i was gifted this lovely pin set i knew i was going to give one of the pins to monica. despite the fact that adiona and abeona are roman goddesses, i couldn’t help but think how perfect they were as a reminder of our time in greece together, and how, despite living in different countries, we are and always will be connected. for this exact reason, the pin set, symbolizing two parts of one whole, the leaving for and returning home from a journey, honours our friendship as one that started out as a journey for two strangers and grew into a friendship that withstands distance. for me, i felt at home and at peace within myself after having met monica. so, naturally, i wanted to gift her the pin that symbolizes a safe return home.