Happy Tuesday! Last week, while I was writing my post about my travel style and mentioning that I have the chance to know people in so many countries, I started thinking about those relationships, and I thought that it deserved a post of it’s own.
I’m privileged and honoured to know people on so many continents. I have family in Chile, a great friend in Melbourne, my person is in Cape Town, my boyfriend is now back in Edinburgh. I have wonderful friends all over in India, Alaska, Switzerland, France and Germany, among others. It’s amazing and I know that I’m very lucky! It makes travelling exciting, doesn’t it? I can call up a friend and say ‘hey can I perhaps come visit for a weekend/week/month?’ Endless possibilities of travels and cheap accommodations! Who doesn’t love that?
BUT where there is distance, we are also talking about long distance relationships. We could talk for hours about the wonderful aspects of travelling and living abroad. In fact, we do every week! However, not many people talk about the heartbreaking facets of being a traveller/expat/tck.
Behind every family member and friend that is abroad there are also the tearful goodbyes, the good intentions of keeping in touch that never quite stand up to expectations, the exciting skype sessions, the care packages, the endless Whatsapp and Facebook messages, the missed birthdays and special occasions.
People don’t talk about the difficult goodbyes. About the heartbreaking tears and hugs shared by cousins or friends. About leaving and not knowing if you’ll see your grandparents again. Of missing birthdays, weddings and not being able to attend funerals. About the constant questioning that if something were to happen to someone I love on the other side of the world, would I have enough money to fly all the way there in a heartbeat?
It’s the unwritten law of residing in a different place than your family and of befriending wonderful people all over the planet. It’s the price to pay for the amazing experiences that those relationships will bring.
Saying goodbye to my boyfriend, who left yesterday to go back to the UK after some holidays in Canada, was heartbreaking. But I will see him soon and all will be okay! Saying goodbye to family members is gut-wrenching because I always feel I could totally see myself being closer to them than the distance allows. Saying goodbye to friends is perhaps the worst. You NEVER know when you will see them again. We all say ‘we’ll travel to see each other soon’ and then life gets in the way. My best friend lives in Cape Town. That allowed me to take the trip of a lifetime last autumn. But you should have seen us on 1st December 2013 when we parted. So much ugly crying!
When you go study at an international school, the harsh truth is that they don’t tell you that the hardest part isn’t breaking the ice upon meeting people, it’s going to be the emotions when you have to say goodbye to them at the end.
I mentioned to a few people last week how I thought knowing people all over the world was both a privilege and a curse. Am I the only one who thinks that? To end this on a less depressing manner however, I have to say that the pros outweigh the cons. I wouldn’t change my family and I wouldn’t change knowing the awesome friends I have for anything in the world!
Do you have a hard time saying goodbye and dealing with the distance? xx