I said goodbye to my family today. My dad, my mom, her partner. My brother, his GF of 3 years whom I’ve just met. My sister, her partner and their adorable little toddler – my nephew. The very few short days I was here in Slovenia are ending, and it will be another 6 months or so before I see them again. And not just them. Goodbye to the house where I grew up. The street where I used to run and bike around and scrape my knees on. The Asterix & Obelix comic book our dad used to read to us…
I’ve also recently said goodbye to Barcelona. And there, I’ve said goodbye to my GF who is now my ex GF. I’ll see her again soon and I’m sure we’ll remain friends, but it won’t be the same. And it hurt a lot. Still does at times.
The deeper I get into therapy (and an occasional meditation retreat or low dose psychedelics) the more I am understanding of how much departures suck for me. It’s really hard. If I’m very still and calm and aware of my body, I can literally feel a sort of pain and numbness in my chest.
Don’t get me wrong. I accept all these things. In fact, I’m consciously choosing these things, despite knowing that there will be pain. I’m no stranger to goodbyes. I’m just sharing this because I want you to go and re-read it the next time you see a picture of me from the Caribbean. The azure water, bright sun, white sand – in the middle of the European winter.
That type of ongoing travel lifestyle and adventure is only possible if you’re willing to cut ties. And if you cut them too often or for too long, they might weaken and eventually die. And to quote George Clooney from Up In The Air when he was talking to a husband-to-be who got cold feet hours before the marriage:
“If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life… were you alone?”
And the answer from Jim is, “No, of course not.”
That’s a side all those influencers with all those great IG accounts full of pretty travel pics don’t talk too much about. So don’t get too hung up on what other people say or do or show, but focus on your own truth. If you want to settle down in the village where you grew up, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Me? I can’t wait for the sea and the sun and the beach. My mood and productivity are just 10x when in a sunny, warm place. Flip flops and shorts all year, and the less clothes the better. I love my family and my friends and my homeland, but it’s just really not worth all the cold and dark and gloom.
I’ve got so much to discover, to learn, to build, to give. And to just be. And I prefer all those in the company of the sun.
How are you with goodbyes? Do you prefer to do it quickly, or drag them out? Do you cry, or try to stay strong? Do you have any good strategies to cope with them after? Feel free to share and maybe we can throw some light onto something many prefer not to talk about. Goodbyes are part of life after all.