One of the most difficult things about my chosen lifestyle is saying goodbye to friends, it doesn’t matter if it is me or them who is leaving. This week, a couple Bart and Lorna, that I met the day they arrived on Grand Cayman 4 1/2 years ago, moved back to Bart’s home country of Belgium to begin again. My daughter and I had just returned from a trip to Cuba and we were staying at the same hotel. I was in transition between jobs and they were looking for a place to live, we got to know each other quite well and ended up good friends. I left Cayman Feb. 14, 2014 after only knowing Bart & Lorna for 6 months, she was there at the airport Nov. 2014 and took me straight to their boat and to the Pirates Week cardboard boat races.
I said “a physical goodbye” because in a true friendship, it never is goodbye, more like, I will see you later. I have quite a few friends I have met in my travels who I have remained very close with. I have stayed at their homes in times of transition and they have been there to offer support in times of need. I of course offer my support in times of need as well. Always a facetime or skype call away. Family and friends back home try to understand what is is like for me and the life I live, but no one really knows this like the people you meet along the way living a transient/nomad life as well.
It does not get easier, especially with those you become really close with. I notice those that are closer to you tend to begin to pull away or create a distance as the time gets close to leaving. Like it will make things easier in some sort of way. Amazing how much you talked about doing but never took the time to do or had the chance. Then before you know it the day arrives and poof your friend is gone. The person you could talk about anything with and who accepts you as you are. Shopping for clothes, Saturday BBQ’s, peri-menopausal complaints, wine downs on the beach, rum, water and lime on the porch, endless munchies and long conversations venting about life or dreaming about the future. Best way for me to deal with my emotions is to feel them, all of them, down to the core. If you need to cry cry….and cry hard. Get those emotions out and let it go. Know you will stay in touch and see each other again in the near future. The bond you created does not go away with distance, you just don’t get to have them physically with you.