Saying Good-bye.

Saying good-bye; it’s my least favorite part of any trip. Good-bye to friends, new and old. Good-bye to a new country. Good-bye to the care-free nature of traveling. Hello to…reality.

I am horrible at good-byes, and I’m as emotional as they come. I tear up quite easily, and I hardly get embarrassed by the tears I shed. Which means, I just let them flow easily, whether I’m in an airport, alone in a taxi cab, or walking down a city street. It’s therapeutic and helps me deal with the change that’s about to occur.

Last night, I had to say good-bye to my cousin, Michelle, and friend, Linda, who are from Ireland. They were in visiting for the week, and while it was not my first good-bye to them, it was still as hard as each time before.

Two summers ago, we had to part in New Zealand, then again, a few days later, in Fiji. Three months later, I visited them in Ireland, and the good-bye was just as hard. Then in the summer, after our 4-week Thai and Vietnamese adventure, I again had to leave them. It is always awful for me, since I’m always leaving them, and so I assumed that having them leave me would be somewhat easier. Unfortunately, I was wrong, and even though I wasn’t the one who was traveling, I was still participating in their travels, making my daily life more of a trip than usual. Which must be what made saying good-bye even more difficult.

My main problem is that after leaving my loved ones, or new friends, I fall into this deep unshakable depression for the following day, even though I know, or hope, that one day we’ll reunite again. This is easy with family and friends because there will be travels and visits in the future, however, it becomes more difficult when considering new friends that were made. Will I actually ever see them again? Or, was this our only chance encounter? I hate how uncertain it is

Either way, last night, with tear-stained cheeks, I glanced up at the moon after arriving home from the airport. It was magical the way it lit up the backyard of my house, and I began to reflect on life and travel, as I occasionally do. It’s then that a quote from Dear John came to my mind, and as much as I dislike the film, though strangely it reminds me of being in Vietnam, I believe that this quote rings true.

“No matter where you are in the world,the moon is never bigger than your thumb…It’s a full moon here tonight, which makes me think of you, because I know that no matter what I’m doing, no matter where I am this moon will always be the same size as yours, half a world away.”

The moon in Bar Harbor, Maine. July 2010.

It’s the perfect idea to think of when leaving a new places and friends. When you don’t want to leave them, and even the idea of parting with them upsets you, this quote is quite comforting. If you look up at the moon, the person you are thinking of can usually see it too, and like John says, it’s always the same size no matter how far apart you are. It’s one of those ideas that makes this world feel small for even just a little bit.

I know that saying good-bye is not something that will ever come easy to me, but in the future I’ll try to think of the moon, and hope that in some way, I’ll be able to get over the idea of parting.


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