Saying Goodbye

The children found a big rock and split it in 6 pieces to keep as their friendship rock.

How do you say goodbye to people you spent the last six months with, sharing daily adventures and struggles, caring and cultivating the growth of one another?

We danced under the stars together. We watched countless sunsets, sat by so many bonfires, fell down (literally and figuratively…) and have truly been there for one another.

When you travel with people, most times you also live with them. You get ready to go hiking together, you eat together and come home together. You wake up the next morning and you’re still together. There’s nowhere to hide.

It accelerates a friendship to experience rough times together after only knowing one another a short time. At home, it usually takes a while to see someone’s bad side because you’re only with people for controlled amounts of time. With traveling there’s no hiding. And that’s actually a good thing. You cut a certain layer of crap away from the friendship process, and ask yourself very early on, do I actually like this person? If you don’t, you move on… with your house on wheels.

And that’s what makes saying goodbye to those people so hard. In a short time you’ve jumped through what would have taken years of casual hangouts and meals. You know what your friend is like when she gets really angry or hasn’t slept enough, and you like her anyways.

It doesn’t help that everything tends to be amplified when you travel. Experiences, relationships, and emotions are more vibrant. When you’re outside of your comfort zone, trying something new that’s scary, it matters who you is with you. The girls will never forget who was with them the first time they went BMXing. And I won’t forget Karl and JF’s beaming faces when they came back from mountain biking with their daughters and said: They were incredible! They are riding partners now!

We all remember what it feels like to have a best friend. It's almost like a first love. The longing to be together, the hand holding, the shared laughs, the pure joy… You just never want it to end. Mara said it felt impossible to be apart for so long, impossible to imagine our life without them.

Her words were so pure it brought tears to my eyes and touched me deep inside. Truth is like that sometimes.