Apologies for the radio silence lately. I have journeyed to the center of the world and returned to wallow in a terrible combination of heat exhaustion, separation anxiety and post-travel-poverty.
I went to Tokyo last week to see a dear friend off at the airport. I like airports, but I’m used to being the one leaving on or returning from some adventure, not the one being left behind.
It’s a strange feeling and I’m not sure I like it. I’m of the opinion that it is always easier to leave than to be left behind. When you leave a place to move on to someplace new, or old, you have something to look forward to, a page to turn, a new adventure. While it’s difficult to part with the things behind you, you’re consoled by the promise of things ahead. But when you are left behind, it sometimes feels like all you have is the absence of the one who’s gone, and the awareness that things will never be the same.
Except, that’s not all I have. If the relationship was rich it can never leave you with nothing. I have countless memories of experiences, of adventures and conversations and hilarious moments, of happy times and heartbreaking ones. I have pictures, presents, and a pile of plushies to remind me in case the memories fade.
And of course, I always have the internet. A couple oceans and continents of separation isn’t all that much, really.
Life’s short and unpredictable, the transient life of a wanderer even more so. Places, experiences and friendships are made that much richer by their impermanence, and forgetting this truth can lead to mistakenly taking these things for granted. I suppose I could withdraw and refuse to get attached to anyone or anything, but you can’t have the highs without the lows. I’ll take the lows any day because the highs, even brief and fleeting as they are, make it all worth it.
And hey, at least now I have a new travel destination or two to add to my wish list! *sniff sniff sob*
What do you think? Is it easier to leave, or to be left behind?