It’s hard saying goodbye. Or even cya later as a friend recently corrected me on. Whether you’re talking to an expiring relative or taking an extended leave from friends – it’s never easy to say goodbye to those you love and care for.
For me, this has never been truer than it has this past year. So let me bring you up to speed with one of the downsides of traveling – the all important, goodbye.
I remember road tripping through the USA with my buddy Dave in 2012. It was my first substantial period away from anyone really, nearly two months with just each other. We realised after just a week or so that it was sadder than we expected leaving our new friends. In every city we went to we’d make friends, some closer than others – and every 1st, 2nd or 3rd day we’d have to say goodbye to them; as we never stayed in one place more than a few days.
Until October 2014 when I parted with England, that road trip was the worst goodbyes I had experienced. Which brings us to October, when finally, it was time to say goodbye to the people I love the most. The ones who have helped grow and nurture me to the person I have become. The ones who have supported me, taught me and kept me afloat when my head was going under.
That’s not easy, let me tell you. From my brother, to my best friends at Luke’s wedding – which was especially difficult for me. Watching someone you care about share the happiest day of his life, with the happiest girl in the world was truly an honour. And, knowing that was going to be the last time you saw them all together made for a truly ambivalent experience. Equal parts happy-sad…
Because I knew this would be one of those last occasions, I decided to make an active effort to have one to one’s with many of them. I shed tears, hugged, sniveled, spoke words I didn’t expect, and received unexpected advice. And of course, with each and every one I shared a last goodbye.
Anyway… this is about traveling
Now anyone that has me on Facebook, follows my Instagram or reads my blog see’s my glorified timeline. You see the beauty I see, to an extent. You hear of the wonderful things I’ve done, the sights I’ve seen, and places I’ve been.
But… you do not know about the darker side. This is one, of many.
For the ‘most’ part I stay in hostels. Community based, cheaper accommodation for low budget travelers. A great place to both meet people, and live at a lower cost. Think about it, every day there tonnes of people checking in and out. That means, as quickly as I’m saying hello; I’m saying goodbye.
Sometimes friends stick around for a few days, other times you are hanging with them day-in day-out for weeks. Months too, but that’s rare, for me at least. And in rare and amazing circumstances it may be as short as a few hours one night before their flight out.
What I have found and struggled to deal with is saying goodbye time and time again. It never gets easier, it’s never OK, and I have never enjoyed it. Every time I say goodbye to a good friend, I feel a little piece of me tear away – just as it did with each and every person I left in England.
You might be thinking, ‘but these people aren’t your best friends, how can you know them that well? Or care that much?’ To those of you, I’ll just say you just won’t understand. When you step out of your circle, your bubble, your closed off world and allow others in – that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you realise that you can have so many more friends, each and everyone having something new and original to bring to the table. Something to learn, something to teach, and every time for damn certain… something to remember, to hold close in your memories.
I may of known some of my friends for nearly ten years and still not really know them as well as I do with someone I connected with on such a deep level over the course of just two days.
Because so many of you have been so special to me, and shared moments that simply couldn’t have been written better by the gods themselves. I feel it necessary to give what the kids would call a shout out. Here’s to you beautiful people, from when I left until now…
Sam Birjandi, Carlo Carfora & Lee Manz
No picture, what the fuck dude!?
Each of you have had a major impact on my experiences and decisions along the way. Not to say others haven’t, oh my god the list would be so long if I listed you all. That’s twelve, and there are a tonne more. I’m literally saying goodbye almost weekly. It’s hard.
You guys though, you are ones. The ones that I died for a little bit, each and every time I watched you walk away from me.
I may be used to it, but goodbyes never get easier.