When Travelling Takes you Away from Those you Love
I'm writing this slightly depressing post, because I want to be real with my readers, and not sugarcoat the life of an expat. Anyone following my blog might've noticed that my lovely boyfriend had been visiting and travelling around Europe with me for the past two months. But what many people don't know (unless you followed me over the summer in my preparations to leave) is that I had posted a lot about our impending parting, and how when he left to go back to America, we were not going to attempt to do a long-distance relationship, as we both weren't confident we could make it work. We made this decision back when we started dating, since I had already started the grad school application process and wasn't going to turn my back on it.
Making the decision to leave America for London wasn't hard because I've always known I wanted to go back to the UK for school. Obviously, I was sad to leave friends and family behind, but I knew it was the best choice for me. I had my reservations, of course. My parents are actually my grandparents, which means they are older, and that made me uneasy to leave them. I was worried I'd miss my family too much, especially my little sister. My friends are amazing, and I knew not seeing them for awhile would be hard. But when my boyfriend came into the picture, I had an inkling leaving him would be hard, but tried to convince myself that it would be okay, especially since we planned our break up in advance.
I was only parted with him for a month before he came to Europe for his two month visit. That month sucked. I was keeping myself busy by exploring London and starting school, but even doing long-distance for those 30 days were really hard. He arrived at the beginning of October, and I was so happy to have him with me for two whole months. What I hadn't thought out though, was that by the time he'd leave, that he would be here longer than I would've spent time here alone. Alone for one month, and then having the perfect companion and travel buddy for two months made me ecstatic. But I hadn't thought out in advance about how I'd survive the rest of however many months I'd be in the UK.
He left yesterday. I knew it was going to be awful. No preparing, even for as many months as we had, could get me ready for this parting of the ways. No matter how many conversations we've had together, talking about the impending doom that was coming could allow me to be ready for this hollow part of my heart that is consuming my entire being. My body feels like it's missing a crucial part of itself, and it hurts so much that I won't be spending my days in London with him.
I know I'm not the only traveller who has ever dealt with this before. Whether it's your family, friends, or significant other who you are leaving behind, it is NEVER easy. Unfortunately for us wanderlust-crazy people who want to travel and live in other parts of the world, we'll always leave people back home who we love and care about, and it's impossible to take them all with you. So what do we do? We move on. We follow our wild dreams and move on. And sadly, moving on means not seeing certain people for awhile, or maybe never again. I am going to have to start forcing myself to learn how to move on, even when that is the hardest thing to do. There's no easy cure to wanderlust, just like there's no easy cure to missing and longing for people. But we have to choose the lesser of the two evils and go with it.
Some people decide to stay. They push their travel bug aside and stay with the people they care about. They make a sacrifice. They understand that human relationships are important and that places will always be there, but people won't be. Then there are the people who just can't stay still and they have to leave, even when it hurts terribly to do so. They know places will always be there, but they need to see and experience them now. The people they love will be back at home, and home will always be there for them to return to. So which one have I chose? The one that hurts more, of course.
So now I shall take my time to heal, however long it may be, and try to justify my decision to move away from everyone I know and care about, to live in another country. I'll try to justify that it was better for my boyfriend and I to break up amicably and mutually so we can remain friends, rather than force ourselves to stay together and potentially end in a worse fashion. I will justify that it was okay for me to quit my job to go to grad school for a degree that I don't even need, just so I could travel for awhile. And lastly, I'll justify that this is the best choice for me, because if I had stayed in the PNW to please my family and friends, then I am living my life for them, instead of myself. But there is a silver lining. Because I realized I shouldn't be alone and sad this holiday season, I will be postponing my Egypt trip and returning home so I can spend some time with my family, which is very important to me.