(Untitled thoughts of one who strongly dislikes saying goodbye)

I haven’t posted in a while I know. That isn’t due to a lack of possible content, but more because I feel there hasn’t exactly been anything to post. Until now that is.

What you’re about to read won’t be pretty, elegant or eloquent – after all, it is part of my ‘Untitled’ collection – but it will be brutally honest about my opinion/feelings on goodbyes, drawing on personal experience with the odd observation added in.

First of all, I would like to make one thing clear, goodbyes suck. At least, in my opinion they do. The dictionary definition for goodbye is: “an expression of good wishes when parting or at the end of a conversation”. To be honest, I think this is pretty weak. I believe that J.M Barrie hits the nail on the head in Peter Pan when he wrote “never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting”. It is a poignant line that has stayed with me for many a year. Why? Well, because it is true.

I feel like I have made my opinion on goodbyes very clear. It’s ironic then that I have decided to go travelling. After all, travelling means having no base, it means not having any permanent elements – it’s like you’re in a state of limbo. Moreover, you’re always saying goodbye.

The first set of goodbyes were when I left England. My family, my friends, my work colleagues. A whole bunch of goodbyes. Admittedly, some were more difficult than others, but all impacted me. After all, these were the people who had been heavily involved in my life for a substantial period either pre or post-uni.

The second set of goodbyes occurred in New Zealand. These came thick and fast due to the nature of both the Kiwi Experience and the fact that everyone else was travelling too, each with their own itinerary. Even though I was only out in New Zealand for 6 weeks – and some of the people I met I knew for a very little amount of time – I learnt a hell of a lot about everyone . You get to know a person for who they really are when you’re travelling and, as a result, you tend to grow extremely close in a very short amount of time. I would be lying if I said that some of these goodbyes weren’t extremely painful and I wish that I’d never had to make them in the first place.

The most recent set of goodbyes have arrived in Melbourne. My biggest worry about coming to Australia was making friends and trusting people, because neither come very easy to me. It can often take me a while to really get me to open up , whilst I can also be quite an awkward conversationalist. Anyway, I was fortunate enough to have met some fantastic people early doors in Melbourne who have helped me fantastically well in the few months I have been here. They have supported me and given me their attention when things have not been going as planned. However, the majority of these people have now left, with my closest friend in Melbourne soon to be joining them.

This isn’t the first time I have been through something like this though. Like everyone, I have experienced the parting at the end of a relationship, which is an extremely saddening goodbye. I also went through the goodbyes at the end of University, which saw the entire life that I had known and built for 3 years disappear in a matter of days as everyone moved away back home.

It doesn’t mean I am any good and goodbyes though. It doesn’t make me think they suck any less. If anything, this makes me think that they suck even more.

As I mentioned previously, when you are travelling you have no permanent base. Even if you are living/working somewhere you know that it is temporary and that eventually it will be time to move on.  Most of the people travellers meet are travellers also. That is just the way it has planned out in my experience. Everyone also moves at their own pace, to their ideal destinations – not yours. Whilst you are beginning your adventure, someone else’s may be coming to a close. After all, they are temporary too.  And with so many temporary people around, goodbyes keep occurring, whether that be after one week or three months. You make and develop strong relationships and friendships with people from across the globe, all the while knowing that at some point it must come to an end. Mentally, it is exhausting.

So goodbyes suck. Goodbyes with people you get on well with suck even more. Goodbyes with people you care about suck the most. But it is a cycle, and one that I am stuck in for the time being. Still, fingers crossed that the opportunity to see at least some of the people I have had to say goodbye to will arise at some point in the future. I really don’t want all of these goodbyes to end up being “forgetting”.

I really do dislike having to say goodbye.


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