Why travel teaches us how to say goodbye

why travel teach us to say goodbye

From teary hugs at airport security, to happy nervous excitement during boarding, to the ugly sobbing on the plane. We’ve all been through the painful necessary stages of a travel goodbye. We learnt the lesssons that a travel goodbye can teach.

Travel leaves you with a backpack full of goodbyes

From saying goodbye to boyfriends and goodbye to new friends and old friends. From saying goodbye to hostel friends and goodbye to moments you know will never happen again. Goodbye. Goodybye. Goodbye.

This next series of posts is all about the lessons I have learnt from travel. Some lessons have been glaringly obvious, some painful, whilst others I still keep learning – over and over again. Each month I’ll be sharing a lesson I’ve learnt.  But I’d love to hear about all your lessons learnt too? Tell me what travel has taught you?

Lesson 1 – Why travel teaches us how to say goodbye

I never really thought about goodbyes before. I guess you just don’t need to. I didn’t even really think about goodbyes on my first trip. With leaving parties to plan and money to save, goodbye was the last thing on my mind. Thinking about goodbye, means you have to think about leaving, this means you have to deal with your emotions and your anxiety. It’s easier to think of all the hello’s you’ll have.

why travel teach us to say goodbye

But travel forces you to say goodbye. You leave places on a daily basis, knowing you will never ever go back again.  You leave friends you felt closer to in one night than the friends you’ve had for years. You leave jobs and you leave ‘home’ over and over again. Repacking that backpacking time and time again as you go.

You say goodbye to family, nearly every day. Goodbye over and over again. You say goodbye to all your travel memories and experiences that no one else could understand. You say goodbye to parts of yourself that no longer serve you.

The thing travel taught me about goodbye though, is for every goodbye, there is normally a what’s next…

From goodbye, to what’s next?

why travel teach us to say goodbye

I learnt to say goodbye because I knew it made space for something new. Every place I left meant I was heading somewhere new. Every time I was brave enough to say goodbye I experienced a great adventure. Every sad goodbye made me make the most of my travels because I knew what I was leaving behind, I knew I needed to make it count.

Now, when I have to say ‘enough’, ‘no‘ or ‘not just yet‘, I know it’s ok. I don’t have to worry about missing out because I know something else will be around the corner, as soon as I’ve made space for it, as soon as I’ve said my goodbye.

Is there something you need to say goodbye too? Something or someone that is taking up space? This is part of my series about all the things travel teach us. You can read some more posts below:

Why travel teaches us to take risks

Why travel teaches us to keep our promises


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *