I admit it. I love traveling (who doesn’t?) and I love it for different reasons, sometimes is the thrill of being able to leave a messy situation. Or, just going somewhere where you don’t have to think about finding a new job or that guy who is not texting back. It’s great to be away, certainly, sometimes it’s better than to stay.
But just like everything else in life, there’s something that is not so great. And this thing, might have occurred to you: What about all the people you leave behind?
Unfortunately most of the times you can’t bring people back with you. You can bring memories and even souvenirs, but if we’re realistic, most of the people that you meet on trips stay put, right where you left them, and friendship/love/acquaintances/what could have been stories, remain unfinished. I’m 24 years old, and I’ve traveled for extended periods of time and short periods of time. I’ve met amazing friends, not-so-great people and this-is-the-love-of my life kind of guys. You can say that I’m an expert in saying goodbye, but I’m not particularly great at moving on. When people talk about closing chapters of your life, I’m the first person that will roll their eyes and politely(sometimes) leave the room. But goddamnit! It might be time to learn.
Here is some advice about finally learning(kind-off) to move on and to not make good-byes so much harder:
1)Have thought conversations
Sometimes you have to be clear and not make things harder by leaving things in the gray area. I know, I know, easier said than done! But before you take that plane, you have to sit down and say…”I feel,” “I think these months/years/days? Were…” and I promise that when you’re sobbing on the plane back home, it won’t be as hard because you will know where you stand. Maybe it won’t be all positive, and maybe, they won’t be all nice conversations, but I promise, they’ll save you sleepless nights in the future wondering what could have happened.
2)Invest in waterproof mascara
Do I need to say more? There’s nothing uglier than black tears, only probably leaving black stains in someone’s shirt while you’re hugging them. But, maybe, the waterproof mascara can help you with that?
3)Say yes to ALL the plans. Ok, most of the plans
I’m not saying you should say yes to everything. Ok, I am telling you to do exactly that! Let’s say you’re in Paris and all your friends are inviting you to dinner at their place(all the calories), sipping wine by the canal (hungover the next morning, especially with rosé ) or just doing a day trip somewhere that might be a bit over your budget. I have one piece of advice for you: f*ck it. Without trying to sound dramatic here, who knows when you’ll be in Paris doing all these things again? Just say yes, risk it, and have a good time even if the plan turns out to be not good as expected. Embrace the time with your friends, turn the ordinary into memories and be happy it happened later (aww).
4)Plan how to stay in touch
One of the reasons LDR are such a failure (sorry!) is because time zones suck. It’s hard to coordinate times that suit both parties, and it’s hard to keep the long emails going (who has time for that?) Buuuut, there’s is a solution. Plan it out, ask your friends what social media they would be more likely to use for staying in touch. Now is not the time to be shy, that cute barista you have deep conversations with every morning during your trip? Add them on Facebook! Your summer crush? Write a couple of emails back and forth after your trip and (please, pleaseee) drop it sometime soon.
My point is, keep in contact and first figure out how to do so. It’s nice to have the option to talk to people you haven’t spoke to in ages.
I think the most important one is to invest in a good mascara—Ok, no, but it is important —the best thing you can do for your mental sanity is not to leave things unsaid. Oh, and also! To have fun times, to let loose a little and try new things. I promise you; you won’t find a better moment to go out of your comfort zone than on a trip!
Another thing, be the annoying person that takes lots of pictures. You’ll thank yourself later. What about you guys? What is the hardest part of trips for you? The jetlag, packing, panicking? Do you have any heartbreaking stories of leaving people behind? I certainly do but let’s save that one for later.