Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Saying Goodbye — and the Next Step


When you’re constantly on the road, you make a lot of friends – and because of that, you end up saying a lot of goodbyes.

For the most part, these goodbyes aren’t so bad.  You hug, you find each other on Facebook, and you spend the next few months laughing at each other’s status updates and tagged photos.

But what about saying goodbye to the people who mean more to you than just a casual friendship?

It’s awful.

It was bad enough saying goodbye to Chris, Jon, Mona and Anthony.  I knew it would be even more difficult to say goodbye to my friends from Vietnam, my dear friends with whom I traveled for nearly a month. The seven of us danced around the subject whenever it came up.

So when our final night together in Saigon arrived, we dealt with it the best way we knew how.

And we made one of our usual goofy videos.


But when saying goodbye to the close friends I’ve made from travel, I find it better to focus on when we’ll see each other again. God knows that’s better than the tearful “I’ll Never Forget Yous.”

And so we planned to meet up again:

To Ste and Darren, on their way upward through Cambodia and Laos as I headed west for Thailand: “See you on Koh Phangan.”

Ste smiled sadly. “Kate, we should give you something to remember us by.

I grinned. “You already did.”  I reached into my purse and pulled out a perfect spiral of a seashell.  Ste had given it to me three weeks earlier while the three of us were taking a walk on the beach in Nha Trang.

I’ll see them again at the Full Moon Party in April.

To Chris, getting ready to return to Beijing as I prepared for his favorite Southeast Asian city, Hanoi: “It’s been awesome.

Chris: “It’s been f*cking awesome traveling with you.

Me: “See you somewhere around the world.  Maybe Beijing?  Or London…

Chris:  “See you at Glastonbury!

We’ll see if I make it to Glastonbury.  Prince is closing the show this year!

To Matt, taking a longtail boat and half a dozen flights back to Iowa as I planned to move on to Southern Laos: “See ya when I see ya.

See ya when I see ya.

Clooney and Pitt? Not exactly.

I’ll see him when we finally decide to start the million mostly insane Thailand beach-based businesses we dreamed up.

And to Dave, our Vietnam visas nearly expired, him returning to the UK in a conical hat as I booked a bus ticket to Phnom Penh:

Simply, “See you soon.

This is probably as good a time as ever to reveal that I’ve chosen an end date for The Asia Jaunt.

On April 21, the six-month anniversary of this trip, I fly out of Bangkok and out of Southeast Asia.

But I’m not returning to Boston just yet…

I’m flying to the UK first.

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47 Responses to “Saying Goodbye — and the Next Step”
  1. Imy says:

    I KNEW you were going to come to the UK, Kate! I’ve my suspicions for a while! Where abouts in England are you going? It would be so funny if you got recognised (by me!)

    • Hahaha! REALLY! Suspicions, eh?

      I’ll be in the northwest, and probably London for a bit at the end of it. 🙂

      And I actually got recognized at a cafe in Bali today. Will NEVER get tired of that feeling!!

  2. Amanda says:

    Yayayay. I’m glad that you’re able to look at the end of your trip with such a good attitude. Your adventures are far, far from over, I’m sure. And I can’t wait to read all about the UK! 😉

  3. Oh my God I’m so excited for you! I can’t wait to read about your adventures in the UK. If you ever need anything do contact me.

    I really can’t wait! I don’t even have any plans to travel to Asia and I can’t help but read your blog as it’s just too damn great. You can imagine my excitation about your UK adventures! 🙂

  4. Laura says:

    Very excited to hear you will be on your way to the UK shortly, look forward to reading about where you end up – hope it doesn’t make me too homesick!

  5. Sarah says:

    How exciting that you’re coming to my home country! If you need anything in London give me a shout! My boyfriend runs this wacky pub in Kings Cross if you’re looking for somewhere to grab a pint…

  6. Earl Squirrelson says:

    Hey Kate, I wfly into London on the 28th of April so if you are gonna be round let me know and we can have a pint.

    • On the 28th? Right before the Royal Wedding?! Crazy!! I will be avoiding the craziness of London, but stay in touch — maybe we’ll be able to cross paths after all.

      • Earl Squirrelson says:

        yeh i know, way crazy!!! ive already chatted on line with a few ppl im doin a contiki with and we are doing the jack the ripper walk on the 29th!! crazy times ahead

  7. Hey Kate!

    Glad to see that you met so many awesome people on your journey! One of the best things about traveling and one of my personal favorites are definitely the fun-spirited people that you come across. Traveling is a great conversation topic; it almost instantly ties a deep connection and passion between individuals. Not all good things have to come to an end, you are going to have a blast in the UK! I am actually headed there this weekend! Then en route to South Africa, where my girlfriends and I are driving the Garden Route for 3 weeks. I will be in the London May 2nd – 10th; if you’re free let’s grab a pint! 🙂 It would be awesome to grab a drink with the person who inspired me to create my own site! Here’s to many great adventures before the UK! 😀 Cheers!

  8. You’re so close to Australia Kate – Now you’re heading back away!

    You must’ve been tempted!

  9. I lived/traveled all over Europe for a year and a half and said more good-byes than I seemed to say hellos. And do you know how many of those people I’ve met up with, visited or crossed paths with on the road in the past five years? Nearly all of them!

    That’s thinly veiled encouragement, btw =)

  10. Scott says:

    I think you totally wrote this isn’t he perfect tone, Kate! Funny yet pulls at the old heart strings! As someone who followed your trip, kinda sad to see it end, but I guess I’ll “read you when I read you”.

    • I’m glad to hear that, Scott. 🙂

      Don’t worry — there are SO, SO, SO many stories and adventures that haven’t made it into the blog yet! There will be plenty of material before my next adventure.

  11. Wait, wait and why you going to the UK? Did you make a love connection we don’t know about?

  12. I’ve been following your blog recently. I have loved reading about your adventures in Vietnam, it has made me really miss the place that I left last year and now I’m starting to plan my next adventure.

    Love the video from Le PUB – one of my fav haunts as a Saigoner!

    Good Luck in the UK 🙂

  13. Methinks someone has a very good reason for going to UK. I’ll keep my mouth shut until you spill it, though.

  14. Stephanie says:

    Oh lord. Well if anyone knows the pull of those British boys it’s me (I’ll tell you all about it over some beers sometime). If you need any UK travel advice shoot my an email, I’ve spent a total sum of about a year over there. Love it.

  15. Ahh! I love this post, and I know exactly what you mean. Good for you that you’re making big decisions… and that your travel plans are changing and taking you to England. Hooray!!

    You’re still such an inspiration… can’t wait to read what’s next!


  16. Lauren says:

    Ah, the perfect opportunity to perfect your British accent!! 😀

  17. I hate goodbye’s too. They are so difficult but a necessary part of life. Fortunately with today’s modes of communication they are hardly a true “goodbye”. I have enjoyed reading about your travels in Asia and look forward to reading about the UK.

  18. Nicole says:

    Leaving friends behind is definitely the thing I find the hardest about travelling, but luckily we always have the photos, memories (and sometimes scars!) to remember them by. Looks like you’ve made some friends for life there, but I have the feeling from your coyness there’s a romantic back-story somewhere! : )

    That’s exciting you’re coming to the UK – just in time for the royal wedding!

  19. Nomadic Matt says:

    Did you make any friends that were girls in SEA? Lol.

    So sad to see you leave Asia but maybe I’ll run into in Europe!

  20. Tom says:

    I love this post, when I first went travelling in 2002 I said goodbye to many people and only got email addresses. Over time they changed their email address and I forgot their full names and then lost contact with them.

    If anyone ever doubts how great facebook can be they just need to be reminded of this one fact.

    It now allows travellers all over the world to keep in contact forever……………I wish facebook was around when I met all these fantastic people I am now no longer in contact with

  21. AudreyDez says:

    Nice!! UK! 😀 Wish for you the craziest adventures in UK, I’m sure it’s gonna be a lot of fun!

  22. Anthony says:

    Ooooh I knew this already haha. The UK welcomes you, Kate! Bring something warm! 🙂

  23. ahhh so your trip will continue after the 6 months!!
    i can tell how close you all were from watching the silly youtube video 🙂 it must have been incredibly tough to say those goodbyes! but at least you’ll reunite with some of them again!

  24. Tom C says:

    Great post Kate! It must be really hard to say goodbye! You seem to have had such great times apart from the recent boat mishap which I was very sorry to hear about. Hope your ok now and like someone else pointed out, I like the positive attitude at the end! Plus your coming to my turf! UK!

    Just also wanted to say thanks as you have inspired me too do the same idea and do a blog that is similar. Hopefully it will take off when I embark on my escapades in September!!

    Safe travelling


    Tom 😀

  25. Jeremy B says:

    Come Kate! Tell us why you’re REALLY going to the UK! 🙂 Will you make it to TBEX in June?

    • Oh, Jeremy, I think enough people have figured it out on their own. 😉

      Sadly, I’ll be missing TBEX this year — one of my best friends is getting married that weekend, and I’m a bridesmaid.

  26. Jenna says:

    What an exciting adventure (the good and bad, I guess, after the ship incident…). I look forward to reading more about it. The UK? How FUN!! My dad lived there for a while and I absolutely loved it there. Best of luck on the rest of your adventures!

  27. Rebecca says:

    Holy moly, the UK! Fun! BTW, am soooo jealous of your gorgeous tan!

  28. David @ Ume Tours says:

    Hi Kate, I know it gonna be very hard to say good bye to best friends who means lots more than just a friends. I agree with you that goodbye doesn’t means that you may not see them again. We will definely see our friends again one day. IN Vietnam, we often say that : if we are lucky, I will see u soon.

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