I always thought that the hardest part would be saving the money and the logistics of the whole plan. But that was the easiest part. Perhaps I am someone who can deal with practicalities and physical things rather than emotions. Maybe I even focused on these things more so I didn’t need to focus on the emotional side and goodbye(s). I always thought of myself as very stable emotionally. I’m always happy.
It first started getting difficult towards the time of departure, it was Christmas time, so there was pressure to see family and friends. But this pressure increased when each interaction could become the last one we would have for a long time. Even hanging out with people I only see annually seemed more important. Despite the fact that me going away wouldn’t change how often I saw them, this time it was more final.
And at the same time as all this was going on, it was the time I had to get everything else sorted for the trip. VISAs, paperwork, bookings, vaccinations, medication, shopping etc.
During the final weeks before departure, the love and support that my girlfriend, family and friends showed me was amazing. Despite the stress and grumpiness I showed. My colleagues at work even threw me a surprise leaving party, it was genuinely shocking. I think the knowledge that all my family, friends and loved ones were so kind towards me, and I was still leaving them was the hardest part. I questioned what I had done to deserve such good treatment. Especially as I was the one leaving.
I even started resenting talking to people about my plans, maybe just because I was repeating myself so much, or because I felt guilty those plans didn’t include them.
The feeling of emotional guilt is something new to me, but I can take solace in the fact that my friends and family were so supportive. No one told me not to go. I know that one day soon we shall be reunited and in the mean time we have email, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc…
It’s not goodbye forever, just see ya in a bit (and Skype in the meantime)