Leaving, Again

Kings Cross train station at rush hour. A business man walks across the frame pulling a suitcase.Does saying goodbye ever get any easier? It’s all a bit strange, this leaving thing, when you think about it. Traveller or expat, I’m sure we all feel it to varying degrees, this need to get on and do what we need to do and be where we need to be jostling alongside the emotional pull of the other life, the familiar life and of folk ‘back home’.

So here I am, on the first of many long haul flights. I’m leaving England, again, and although I’m excited to be returning to friends in Australia, the sadness of saying goodbye to my family just a few hours ago took me by surprise. In the end I could barely talk.

And I wonder why I get this lurch of sadness, more pronounced the older I get. When I lived in England I saw my family maybe four times a year, if I was lucky. Life just happened. We were all busy. Now I see them every year and a half, if I’m lucky, and when I see them I do feel lucky, because we all make an effort to make the most of this limited time together.

Something happens when you’re flying high above the world, at least it does to me. Maybe it’s the physical disconnect with the ground that makes me reflective, or it’s possibly the forced situation of not being able to busy myself with duties and distractions. Either way, thoughts about life and location bubble up.

After over a month of catching up with family and friends, I’m now back acquainted with some me moments, and as I fly half way around the world I have time to ponder on what has changed and what might change again before I next revisit the Great British Isles.

And I wonder, will the next time I leave be any easier or will it be as much of a wrench? I’m curious to know how other long-term travellers and expats experience and deal with this.

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11 Comments

Filed under expat life, long term travel, reflection, relationships, travel

11 responses to “Leaving, Again

  1. It can be sad to leave. Good thing you have a blog so they can follow you around anytime!

  2. I am just about to leave Sicily after 6 months. Sad.
    But then I am looking forward to Bari, Puglia and the rest of Italy.

    • That’s exactly it, isn’t it? Despite the sadness there is always something else to look forward to.And then there’ll possibly be sadness when that phase has finished too… All sounds a bit like a lesson in non-attachment! Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. Oh I know what you are feeling, I haven’t found the secret to making that moment any easier. If you ever do please let me know. Hope you settle back in quickly

  4. a very nice blog and post, will visit more often , only discovered you today 😛 thanks for visiting Far Side, much appreciated!

  5. The first time I left, I was nothing short of excited and extremely nervous. I didn’t want go back home ! The second time … I was just so sad. I could have a good life back home, surrounded by friends and family that love me and be there for their biggest moments in life. Just be there. But somehow I always leave …and I don’t think I could ever stop. Sorry, this is sounding very depressing haha but it’s refreshing to see someone be completely honest about long term travel. I hadn’t known the sacrifices I’d have to make to live this lifestyle.I guess it comes down to making a choice and enjoying the little things. Either change the situation or stop moping 😉

    • Good philosophy 🙂 And not at all depressing to have another honest opinion. Travel, long term travel and/or expat moments can’t all be sugar coated wonders, even if ultimately they are taking us along a path that we need to travel. Enjoy your journey!

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