Prologue - The hard goodbye
Hilversum Travel Blog› entry 1 of 260 › view all entries
Normally I start my blogs with a prologue about my reasoning and preparations for the trip. This time I actually kept a separate blog during the months of preparation. You can read that blog here.
Meanwhile, this 'prologue' is just mainly some random thoughts I wrote down while my train was heading for the Dutch border.
I hate saying goodbye. Somehow saying goodbye seems so, well, so definite. And I don't really like definite things. If I did, I wouldn't be travelling, I guess.
Two weeks ago there was a farewell party at work. Well, it was the farewell party of a colleague of mine, but as it is no point having two farewell parties a week apart, we decided to do a joint party. So I made sure to tell everyone that it was not goodbye for me yet, since I had another week left at the office.
Needless to say I didn't get to say goodbye to half my colleagues in the end. But with the ones I did get to say goodbye to, and some colleagues have become close friends of mine over the years, it seemed more of a "see you later" than a "fare thee well".
Yesterday there was a little farewell party for my friends. Again, rather than a farewell party, I wanted it to be a 'Bon Voyage' party. Sure, I left my job, so obviously that was a farewell, but I have no intention to say farewell to my friends. While I probably won't return to my old job, I have every intend on returning to my old friends, if you get my drift.
Great party, but again, the saying goodbye part was a bit odd. It really felt as if I would see them in a week's time anyway.
And I have to say, that all the time I didn't really feel as if I was embarking on this great trip anyway. It all felt, rather, well, normal. Over the last few months I did have a bit of a strange feeling in my gut, but that seemed more related to work (and planning) stress than the actual leaving part. Even yesterday I was still proclaiming it all felt so unreal that I didn't really feel much stress (or even excitement) at all. I simply could not fathom the journey I was about to undertake.
Well, that was all about to change this morning. I was walking through my hometown for some last minute shopping and all of a sudden the panic kicked in. What the f... was I doing? My knees became wobbly and in my mind a thousand possible excuses not to leave formed. I have had mild doses of pre-departure anxiety before previous trips, but never before like this.
After walking aimlessly through the shopping mall for a while I calmed down again, and finally remembered what I had come here for, only to realise I had passed the very same shop four times already.
I spent most of my last day packing my bags and cleaning/emptying my house. While away my apartment will be rented out, so I had to take all my personal belongings out. Another reason why the past months leading up to my trip felt more like moving house than going on a journey around the world.
The hardest part came when it was time to go to the train station. With this crazy idea to travel all the way to Kuala Lumpur by public transport, I thought it would be fitting and symbolic to also take the train from my home town to Utrecht, 20 kilometres away, from where the international train to Warsaw would leave.
My mother, my aunt, my sister, her partner and my two nieces all accompanied me to the train station. This was the hardest part. Realisation of what I was about to do had now fully sank in, so I was all too aware I would not see them until Christmas. And while I surely miss my parents and sisters and I will definitely miss all my friends, it are my two nieces, who I will miss the most. They will have grown so much by the time I get back. It will be so weird not seeing them for such a long time.
They had a hard time saying goodbye, and I must say, so did I. For that reason I was quite glad the farewell part was at a regular Dutch train station, where the train would not stop for more than a minute. So after a last few hasty hugs it was time for me to board and I was on my way...