You should know that this post has absolutely nothing to do with my trip, but also, everything to do with it.
Goodbyes are hard. We hate to think about things ending, especially good and magical things. Even as they loom upon us we shy away from actually thinking about them, actually feeling them happen until after we've parted.
Goodbyes-for-now are hard. Goodbyes for I really don't know how long, are almost impossible to describe.
I've had to say a lot of goodbyes over the last month. The closest of friends who I spent every week with over the past five years at school. Fellow engineering students who I spent seemingly endless hours in the library with. Professors. Amazing coworkers. Favorite bars, coffeeshops and places to read. A city. Travel companions who even though I'd spent only a handful of days with, got to know so intensely and intimately it felt just as hard.
Goodbyes are hard.
But they're not sad. Not at all. They're not nostalgic. They're not tragic things.
No, I believe they're moments of intense gratefulness. Moments where things truly sink in, where you realize how special the time you spent together really was.
We roughed it out, learned and changed alongside one another. We did things that scared us, we did things that are impossible to describe that we'll remember forever. At the end of it we're different and hopefully better people for it. We spent the most valuable of things together, time. We made memories that only we are lucky enough to remember and carry with us.
The thought of things coming to an end is scary. But the fact that our time together is limited is also what defines it, it's what makes that time so special.
A difficult goodbye is not a goodbye at all because the things we did, the things we saw and felt those will always remain a part of us. Time may not be permanent. But that is.