“You must be SO excited!”

I hate the word goodbye. It always feels so final. And since I leave places (to go to new ones!) frequently, “goodbye” doesn’t work for me. I’m a much bigger fan of “see you later.” It feels less serious and, unless I’m referring to a total stranger, it’s true. I will most likely see this person at another time.

Preparing to leave the country for about a year is a daunting task. I’ve had to scatter my belongings in various locations (thank you if you’re currently storing something I own), make sure I’m covered by a US health insurance (still unclear on this point), and many other logistical things that have been on my to-do list for months. I’m finally through most of it and the only thing I have left to do aside from packing is to say “see you later” to my family and my boyfriend – I’m dreading it!

IMG_4102Before I get sappy, I wanted to say a massive thank you to the family and friends that celebrated my adventure with me last weekend. My parents had a joint bon voyage/birthday party for me and my sister on Saturday. It was a blast! It was incredible to hear so many people tell me how proud they are of me. It was really humbling to be honest. Like I’ve said before I don’t really think I’m being brave, but there are other people who really do.

Anyway, I said “see you later” to about 60 people in one day, and I’ve said it to many others since quitting my job last June. So it’s been a long process. With my departure rapidly approaching (tomorrow, ahhh!), everyone is expecting me to tell them how excited I am. But I’m having a hard time mentally moving past the airport hugs and tears and to grasp that I’ll be in Madrid in less than 48 hours.

It’s funny how hard it is to leave this time. I’ve lived abroad twice before and both times I practically jumped on the plane without a care in the world. This time is different for many reasons that I won’t go on about. But no one talks about this part of moving abroad. No one ever brings up the logistical (emotional) nightmare it is to move out of an apartment you share with your partner and watch his new roommate move it. No one casually chats about saying bye to their dog (who has no idea what I’m saying or that I’ll be back). And no one mentions the confusion caused by having so much stuff and no where to put it. My point is not for people to feel bad for me. On the contrary I’m trying to provide an honest perspective about why excited isn’t the adjective I choose when people ask me how I feel right now.

All that said, I am extremely happy that the time to go is finally here. I’m sure excitement will settle in once the plane lands across the pond.

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