10 International Friendships That Inspire Us

It’s almost International Friendship Day! We love this holiday at Discover Corps because we believe the best way to discover a country is through its people.

We lead volunteer vacations to connect people and create friendships across borders. To celebrate these unique relationships, we’ve rounded up 10 international friendships that inspire us. We hope they’ll inspire you, too!

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10 Inspiring International & Cross-Cultural Friendships

Catherine the Great & Voltaire

An 18th century Russian empress and a French philosopher are an unlikely pair, but these two were penpals for years. Though they never met in person, their mutual admiration is clear from their letters — which sold for more than $600,000 in 2006.

Hans Solo & Chewbacca

Who says you need to speak the same language — or be from the same galaxy — to be friends? This famous Star Wars duo stayed friends across light years despite the fact that Chewie was a Wookiee and Hans Solo was from the planet Corellia.

Harry Houdini & Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

We’d call the relationship between the world’s most famous illusionist and the Sherlock Holmes author mysterious indeed. The Hungarian-American and the Scot bonded over their shared interest in — yet opposing views of — Spiritualism.

Penelope Cruz & Salma Hayek

Though these two are often confused with each other due to their similarly stunning looks, they are also best friends. Both actresses and models, Cruz is Spanish and Hayek is Mexican.

Nikola Tesla & Mark Twain

Can you say brilliant? After Tesla, the famous Serbian inventor, moved to New York in 1884, he met American author Twain. He’d already read some of the author’s works, and the two hit it off — even tinkering in Tesla’s lab together.

Frog & Toad

Okay, so these guys aren’t necessarily from different countries, but they are different species. Their classic friendship lived in our imagination and hearts thanks to Arnold Lobel’s famous picture books.

Man Ray & Salvador Dalí

Talk about a surreal friendship! American photographer Ray and Spanish painter Dalí became friends in the early 1900s in Paris. Need proof? Check out this famous photograph.

Martina Navratilova & Chris Evert

Rivals on the court; best friends off the court. The Czech Navratilova and American Evert came from different backgrounds, but their friendship prevailed long after their tennis days were over. Evert was even the maid-of-honor at Navratilova’s wedding.

Taylor Swift & Lorde

The American singer Swift is almost as famous for her posse of celebrity friends as she is for her songs and ex-boyfriends. One of her besties is New Zealand singer Lorde, who says Swift showed her how to be friends with girls.

Mozart & Haydn

This friendship is music to our ears. The Austrian composer Haydn was already successful when Mozart was born in Germany; after Mozart moved to Vienna, Haydn took him under his wing — eventually earning the title “Papa” from the young composer.

[bctt tweet=”From Taylor + Lorde to Tesla + Twain, 10 inspiring int’l friendships for #friendshipday:”]

Do you have an international or cross-cultural friend? Tell us about them in the comments!

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