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Farewells: My Biggest Travel Enemy

As I left the dinner table and entered my room — a normal daily routine I was consciously repeating for the past couple of weeks, I wondered why it was the toughest, to leave and wishing THE FAMILY, I was staying with, in Italy, for the last 2 weeks, a ‘pleasant sleep’ tonight. As I slammed my room’s door behind me and started typing a set of careful words, I realized that I may be feeling an overwhelming set of emotions, under the influence of some wine, but no, there’s nothing unusual in today’s circumstances; I always feel the same. Bidding farewells and saying final goodbyes have always been the toughest part of my travels. They make my life so much difficult, and a lot more unsettling.

I always thought that after travelling for some time, living more experiences, and bidding adieu to all the people I’ll meet on the road, I would somehow, almost naturally, master the art of saying farewells, without being driven by the moment.

But this time as I departed, I realised that I’m pathetically failing in what I’d initially hoped for. Yes, I’m still the same! I’m still the person who would cry his heart out as he leaves the known ones behind.

Though of course there’s nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed for an experience and reminisce the fond memories you’ve had with people, it’s also important not to let that sentimentality cause you to lose your course. Yet almost always, saying goodbyes bring me to a point of ambiguity, that I always have to remind myself that I’d initially arrived here only to eventually leave.

I mean for a traveller, going away is, after all, just as significant and necessary in his life, as arriving at a new place.

The Last Dinner Together. The Last Morning Tea. And The Final Good Bye!

So I pushed myself, yet again, and tried to ignore the brevity of the fact, that I soon would no longer occupy space with them. Soon, I’d no longer be a part of their family. I’d not be working in their garden or helping them buy their groceries, or sharing their dinner table. As very soon, I’d be on the road again, continuing my European leather tramp.

And to only look strong – as I waved the final goodbye, to each one of them, individually – I numbed myself to a degree that they felt that I never cared about them. But as always, I now wish that I could make use of the time and have told them how much I loved them, how much I’ll miss them, and how much they mean to me. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t breathe that infinite void. And I hope they understood that I was only struggling to let go. I hope they understood that it was not goodbye I wanted to say, it was I’ll see you later.

My heart now swells with them behind trapped inside whom I will meet later through a certain song, a wafting smell, or a secret joke.

Do you also find it hard to say goodbye? How do you cope with it? 

Filed under: Miscellaneous


After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!

1 Comment

  1. Antarik Anwesan says

    There is absolutely nothing wrong in this feeling. And if it, at times, makes you change your plans and extend your stay by a couple of days, it would be worth doing that as well. It might just bring in some great new memories for a lifetime. But yes, goodbye will come after that too. We, as travellers, just have to get used to it eventually I think, leaving an impact on people we meet on the way so that it’s not just we who are missing them but there is equal reciprocation too 🙂

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