I’ve never been bad at good byes. They always hurt but knowing I won’t be seeing someone for a while makes me make the most of those last few moments instead of rushing it and/or running away.
One of the biggest perks of traveling for me is meeting people that I would most likely never have met otherwise. People with jobs way different than mine, with a lifestyle or culture a complete opposite to mine or from different continents/country than where I come from, and it’s a fine experience exchanging life stories and comparing how the same things are done differently in different places.
I’ve never been one for much small talk and filling silence with useless chatter. In fact, I really appreciate silence. Over the last couple of years, since I started meditating and practicing mindfulness, my tolerance to people talking just for something to do has gone down tremendously. I cringe from forced conversations. I make new connections if they happen naturally, have conversations if they happen naturally. This coupled with absolutely loving me-time means I can go days enjoying solitude without trying to find people to hang out with. Of course, the whole concept of ‘solitude’ takes on a different meaning when you are a in a dorm of 6 or sometimes 12 people. For me, it’s become more about emotional solitude rather than needing to be alone in my room like back in London. It’s almost like building a bubble around myself in a room full of other people. This too isn’t forced which means that I won’t resist a conversation with the fellow travelers in my room if it happens. But I “recharge” in this quiet period and it helps me connect with the right people in a more meaningful way. And when I do meet people such people and spend a few days or a few weeks with them it’s quality time. I learn something new. I grow a bit more. And when the time comes to say good-bye, like it always does, it is sad. Yes I am happy that I met them but I am also sad that it’s over. I am learning to take it in stride coz it’s not the first or the last of good-byes. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, even if it’s just a little bit. But that’s part of traveling, meeting new people and forming new bonds, hoping that you’ll stay in touch and get a chance to meet again someday in the future. And I am grateful that I have this opportunity, I wouldn’t change it for anything!