The Big Goodbye Will Be Anything But “Good”

I’m a bit of a curmudgeon, I suppose. I’ve never liked surprise parties and big hoorahs put on in my honor. Truth is I can’t stand being the center of attention.

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To boot, I’ve always found it hard to thank friends and family in just the right way when they do throw me a big party or get-together. At least in a way that really shows how grateful I am for their kind generosity. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve and it’s so damn hard for me to do when I really have to.

That’s why I know the The Big Goodbye will be anything but “Good”. And why I’m not looking for any big send-off.

Over at TrailOfAnts, Ant – who’s also preparing for a RTW trip – recently wrote:

The thing I’m not looking forward to, is The Goodbye. I’ve never been good at them, and never will be. A swift hug, pat on the back, kiss on the cheek and I’m outta here, with just a wink and a smile to leave by the wall.

I’ll cover the reality of this daunting experience at the time, but suffice to say I am in no way relishing it. The compounding factor is that it’s not just once, (I’ve shunned the offers of farewell parties) it’s over and over again. Can I just write it on here and leave … ?

Will my RTW journey be just another temporary chapter in the workaday routine of my life? Or the start of a new life altogether? I don’t know. But I know I’ll be back all in due time. So let’s not make The Goodbye too big a deal, okay? I promise I won’t be gone forever.

Founding Editor
  1. Goodbyes are tough – I threw a bit of a goodbye dinner before heading out to Korea for a year, and the hardest thing was trying to not make a moment out of it, you know what I mean?

    With goodbyes there’s all this pressure to say or do something profound, to make friendship and love known, like in movies perhaps. But “moments” pass by just as any other minute does – nothing feels particularly special, things change and people take new paths. Friends and family meet again, and with the internet it’s hardly like anyone’s about to lose contact.

    Throwing a dinner or something with close friends before you leave is something I would recommend, but just let conversations carry on as normal – make it a “gathering” rather than a “going away party.”

    You’ve got some time, but best of luck.

  2. From what I’ve read, a lot of travelers (especially long term and RTW-ers) actually keep in contact with their families more while they’re away. I have a feeling I’ll be the same way – e-mailing and calling my family/friends several times a week.

    The hard part will be convincing them of that. I’m an only child, so if I’m gone for any longer than a week, I may as well be on a year-long orbit on the International Space Station as far as my parents are concerned. It’ll be tough.

    I’m definitely going to try to make it as much like any other “night/dinner out” with everyone as possible. So it doesn’t seem like it’s the last time they’ll ever see me again.

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