Partir c’est mourir un peu – as the French would say. And the last weeks I have the feeling I understand the meaning of this expression more and more. When going on a journey like this, it is a lot about leaving behind.
I finalized my work as a self employed communication specialist and made sure that it was in good hands of my collegues. After more than four successfull years, in which I built up my own company, it is a scary feeling to leave it all behind – almost like giving up a part of your identity.
We also gave up the house in which we were living. Our wonderful place in the forest, where we had such a good time: the garden for great evenings with friends, the fireplace in the living room and the garage in which we could fit all our DIY-stuff.
And we said goodbye to the daily luxuries in life that most of us take for granted: the toilet that you can use whenever you need, the washingmachine that cleans your clothes by itself and the shower with hot water, to wake you up in the morning.
We will miss it, for sure, but the hardest thing is to say goodbye to friends and family. In the weeks before we left we tried to see most of our closest friends and family to have some quality time together. Despite the busy schedules, we made time to have diner together or drink a beer. And the day before we drove off, we had a farewell party with our friends and family. More than 75 people to say goodbye to in just a few hours. It was so good to see everybody, but for our minds it was to much: it was impossible to realise we will miss all of them for 1,5 years. What can you say? `I will miss you` became a hollow phrase after a while.
The next day – on Sunday the 3rd of April – we had the last goodbye session: our parents, siblings and grandparents where there to really wave us goodbye. We were afraid that we still wouldn’t feel that much. But when we hugged our family, the tears finally came. The tears of saying goodbye to all those dear people that trust us to go on an journey like this again. That are proud of us, and off course a little scared of what we will encounter on our way. We step in to our truck and wave at our loved families. Leaving is not dying a bit, as the French would say, but it is about letting go. Together with the tears we finally realise: we are really going again. As we drive off on the Dutch highway we get this strong feeling:
We are ready to go!