I love travelling, but like most of us, I’m not a big fan of the goodbyes that often come as part of the deal. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some great people on my various journeys, and I’ve even had friends come out and join me from time to time. However, the downside of these connections are the inevitable goodbyes they come with.
Today I said goodbye to my friend Yolande and watched as she dashed off to catch her flight. She had only been here a week, but a week in travel is a long time, and it’s surprising just how quickly you get used to having someone around. Travelling in countries where you don’t speak the language is tiring, so quite apart from the companionship of having a friend with you, it’s just easier when there is more than one of you figuring things out.
It’s a times like these when I think about what long-term travel must have been in the days before the so-called ‘digital revolution.’ I imagine that the goodbyes of yesteryear must have surely been harder knowing that your friends and loved ones were a long way away, and that communication would be difficult, time-consuming, and probably expensive.
Today I can share my journey through 2012 with anyone in the world who visits this blog. I can email, IM and text message friends in far off places, but best of all, I can have real face to face conversations with people using Skype. It’s hard to convey just how comforting it is to have a casual chat with a friend where the thousands of miles between us is suddenly reduced to nothing more than the length of a coffee table.
So while it’s hard to say goodbye sometimes, I’m happy to live in a time when those goodbyes can so easily be converted back into happier hellos.