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 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.