My favorite travel partner celebrated her birthday in Japan (without me).

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From the first moment I met this schminkaritza, I loved her. I mean…giving me white chocolate chex mix is the quickest way to my heart. We were in New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina (World Race training/interviews) and Sisson (Jessica Sisson Blair) brought snacks and made this tough time FUN!! I couldn’t believe that someone would wear jewelry and dress up to go clean mold out of a flooded house. It blew my mind that someone could look so put together with a mask covering her mouth and nose, knee deep in garbage. BLEW MY MIND!!

Fast forward just about 9 years and I still don’t wear jewelry and dress up most days, but I have a best friend that does. When I need a good cry, advice, a good laugh, prayer or a recipe…Sisson is my girl. We may be as different as two people could possibly be, but by golly, we make a great team.

 From those first days in New Orleans…we have… traveled around the world, walked with heavy backpacks through Italy AT NIGHT (UGH), visited hospitals with needles, ended up at a World Cup game in Germany (yes…we painted our faces), stayed with Royalty (drinks with those lawyers…beep beep), not bathed for 3 weeks in India (you better believe we snuck water and shaved our legs), met cute Marines in Burundi (yeah yeah…Marshall…you’re alright), skinny dipped in at least 5 different countries, got married (she stood by my side on my big day), had babies (her…not me), smelled up trains, accidentally ended up where terrorists are trying to take over Paris, accidentally (I’m not kidding) hid someone under our blanket during a passport check in Austria, slept at the foothills of the Matterhorn in Switzerland (for FREE), ate the world’s best lasagna on the Amalfi Coast, watched 24 in Burundi (just one more…), hitch-hiked (a lot), loved street kids, saw severe poverty, had our roof-top (freak-out) sessions, learned how to share our faith, laughed, cried, shared our deepest secrets, been constipated (not sure why I had to write that), loved deeply, moved (a lot)…but through it all, I never once doubted that Sisson and I were going to conquer life together.

I couldn’t ask for a more kind-hearted, adventurous, godly, beautiful friend. Even though oceans separate us right now, I am certain that I have a friend for life. I look forward to many more adventures together. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISSON!!!