Why is it that no matter how long you know something is coming, or how well you prepare for it, sometimes it still feels like cold water in the face? Packing up to head hOMe to Montana tomorrow – very bittersweet. There were many tears all around on Friday, 5 year old’s last day at British school. We took in red, white and blue cupcakes with American flags for her goodbye party. Goodbyes are inevitable and often sad. But when you see your little one struggle with the reality of goodbyes, it seems doubly painful. After the excitement of the party wore off and we were back at home, my daughter sat looking at the book of notes and photos her classmates made for her and burst into tears. “What if I never see so-and-so again?” I struggle to tell her why it’s not impossible for that to happen (knowing it isn’t exactly likely in the near future). Eventually, I just hold her while she sheds her tears, and I cry too.
I will admit that six months ago, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about leaving Montana to come to London; however, I feel satisfied that we made the most of our experience here. But it’s not as clean as, we came, we saw and now we’re heading home…we’ve made attachments here that we now have to cut. More than anything, I want 5 year old to remember school, and how that community enriched our time here like nothing else. It gave us the chance to experience living here firsthand. Which for me, is the whole point of travel.
Today, I pack with both a heavy and light heart, thinking of: sad goodbyes. the end of this amazing experience. going home with an exciting summer ahead. going home to everyone and everything I love. The complex, emotional swirl that is what good travel is made of. And a reminder that this is the essence, the true, raw emotion that underlies why we ever leave home in the first place: to taste that bittersweet flavor of goodbye. Softened, perhaps, by a cupcake.