Expat

Saying goodbye

Five weeks to go before our big move, and we have definitely entered the airlock to the unknown. Mixed feelings now inhabit us, as joy and excitement have made room for fear, anxiety and sadness.

10 Gifts ideas for the travelling child

Listen and read at the same time: 

Of course, it was our decision to leave, yes we wouldn’t want it any other way. But still, we have no idea of what we will find there. I look at my calendar and as busy as it is right now, in five weeks it’s so blank that I wonder if there’s a bug in my computer. People ask us where we will live. We don’t know. People ask us what the food will be like. Probably amazing, but we don’t really know. People ask us what our days will be made of, and we don’t know. People ask me if I will find a job easily and to be honest, still I don’t know.

Now if you are like us, born in the 80s’, you can understand more easily what it’s like. We are part of this generation that doesn’t think that life evolves around a single job, a single location. We are part of this generation that would rather live humbly and save money to see the world because “that’s the real life”. But we are also part of this generation that has been taught that nothing is for sure, that getting a degree, even with honors, won’t guarantee you a job; and that you need to work hard and to be lucky to ensure your future, making us one of the biggest control-freaks in this century. Mixed feelings are only a consequence of this: on the one hand, our hearts scream “FREEDOOOOOOOOOOM”, and on the other hand, our heads cry “Why on earth are we doing this?”

And then comes sadness, sometimes discreet and oftentimes very present. Because at this stage, every time we meet someone, it’s the last time. Yes, of course, not the last time EVER, there’s the Internet, and annual visits if we’re lucky, but still it’s the last time “like we used to”. And saying goodbye is definitely the hardest. I might be pessimistic here, but I don’t believe in the “nothing will change”. Because life goes on, with or without us. With or without you. And so it should! We’ll say goodbye at the airport and then for a couple of weeks, we will exchange emails and messages to reassure everybody that we are fine – hopefully – that we’ve found a flat, a job, a nice place to stay. Some of them will keep in touch, others will read the blog and be satisfied. But when one of them gets married, when a baby is born, when birthdays are celebrated, when lunches and dinners are shared, we won’t be there. And those are the moments that create bonds, relationships and memories that pertain through the years. I don’t want to hide in illusions and miss the chance to truly say goodbye, comforting myself in a lie to avoid a few tears.

We want to look in the eye of the people that we’ve met, that have been part of our lives, and tell them how much we’ve appreciated sharing our days with them; how much we love them and how much we will miss them. We know we will have to fight hard not to say “Oh come on, it’s okay, we will talk on Skype in a week!” as if that could fill in the void their absence will create. Instead we will try to tell them that we’ll always carry them with us. That we wish them to go on with their lives just like before, without us.

As for us, we will have to come to terms with our new reality. By becoming nomads, we become citizens of the world. We will share moments, beers and laughters with new people we will meet in new places, winking at a camera to Snapchat back home.  If you look closer, you might even see that there’s always a seat there for you.

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