I know some of you may read the title of this blog post and think HARD parts of backpacking?! Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t many hard or difficult parts to this lifestyle but all good things in life have flaws and backpacking your way around the world is no different.
I’ve only started to experience the “flaws” in backpacking in the past couple of weeks and I think there have been a number of contributing factors but the hardest thing I struggle to deal with is saying goodbye. I hate it. I’ll deal with stupidly long and uncomfortable journeys, not knowing where I’m going to be sleeping is fine, not knowing how or when I’m going to eat sometimes is durable but saying goodbye to people that have made an impact on me, I can’t deal with it.
I think my Mum started this off when she visited a few weeks ago, after spending a wonderful 2 weeks with her and my Step Dad it came time to say goodbye as they set off back home to the UK and I headed back down to Byron Bay. Knowing I would see them again in 3 months in America made it a lot easier for me to say goodbye to them, and I didn’t feel too sad knowing that I’d been fine the last 7 months I’d gone without seeing them but I think subconsciously it had opened up a gate way of emotions. The next thing I noticed was days afterwards and it was my “little” brother’s 23rd birthday, I saw a video on Facebook of my niece and nephew singing him Happy Birthday and I instantly felt I needed to see all 6 of them. I’ve obviously felt like I’ve missed my family and friends since I’ve come out to Australia but it’s a choice I made and something I’ve learnt to deal with but these past few weeks I’ve felt the most homesick (if you can call it that?!) that I’ve ever felt.
So I might be missing friends and family from home but the other, and probably most difficult thing for me to deal with whilst backpacking is saying goodbye to the amazing people I’ve met along my journey. It started off saying goodbye to my family from Mojo Surf that I spent my first 3 months in Australia with – that was pretty damn hard considering all the awesome memories we had made but there’s always the hope of meeting up again on your travels. The next was saying goodbye to Anne and our camper van/home when I left Victoria a few months ago, we’d spent everyday together since and during the surf camp, even crossed paths in Thailand and then made a van into a home/surf mobile together so that was another extremely hard goodbye, especially because we weren’t 100% sure when we’d next see each other, we still don’t! But that doesn’t mean we don’t talk most days :) And then I’d left Victoria and ended up travelling with Lasse for the next 2 months or so, apart from the 2 week break I had with my family we’d spent every single day together and realised 2 weeks apart was strange enough for us both so you can imagine how it was saying goodbye this evening to start working my way up to Bundaberg so I can start my farm work next week and he’s days away from flying back home to Germany! They’ve been the hardest goodbyes to date but there’s also the people you meet and spend time with even if it’s for a few days, you still have to say goodbye to some awesome people and not know when or if you’ll ever cross paths again. I know a lot of backpackers use the not getting attached rule so it’s easier for them to move on from place to place and not feel sad but I like opening up and getting to know new people, isn’t that one of the main parts of travelling? To meet people and let them make an impact on your life, even if it’s just a small one.
On the other hand, this shouldn’t put people off travelling and meeting new people and making new friendships, I don’t for one second regret it and I’ve figured that the harder it is to say goodbye to people, the more likely you are to keep each other in your lives :) Maybe I’m feeling a little more emotional and reflective than usual because I know that after my 3 months of farm work end, I’m at the end of my first year in Australia. How friggin’ crazy is that!? And I’ll be writing more about my post farm work plans soon but for now I just wanted to share some of the emotions you endure whilst travelling the world, 99% of the time you’re living the dream and surviving in paradise but there is that 1% that can make things a little harder and more complicated and I guess we’re only human right? As The Lumineers would say! – It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all.
I guess it’s just all a part of the journey!