The hardest part of full-time travel is leaving behind family, loved ones, and friends. When I travel, I don’t get to see new places and experience new things with my loved ones–I’m on my own. Traveling more and more and trying new things doesn’t erase the void in my heart–the absence of my family, boyfriend, and friends. Each time I leave home I embark on a new journey, destined to explore more of the world and learn more about myself, but a part of me doesn’t want to leave knowing that I am leaving the people I love behind. As I move forward exploring the world, they stay behind waiting for my return. As much as I love traveling full-time, the worst part is saying goodbye.
I’ve been blessed throughout my 12 months of travel thus far to come back to Canada in between my trips to see my family, boyfriend, and friends. If I wasn’t able to return home in between my travels as often as I have I don’t know if I’d have the strength to continue on. Being away from them is the worst part. As supportive as they are, it still feels as if I’m moving on without them. It’s selfish of me to wish they could be with me throughout my travel journey knowing full well that they can’t; I still silently wish they were with me. It was me who left my job for a year to travel, not them. It was my choice. Yet, the hardest part of transitioning from a full-time teacher and full-time Master’s student to a full-time traveler is that I am constantly leaving my loved ones. No matter how rewarding traveling is, how many places I visit, the new things I try, or the amount of new friends I make, it will never replace the incredible relationships I have at home.
It’s the trust that my family, boyfriend, and friends will always be there for me no matter what I go through or where I go that carries me on. It’s the undeniable love they have for me that helps me through my homesick days. It’s the faith I have in them to know without a shadow of a doubt that I have the best family, boyfriend, and friends in the world. It’s the hope that my “at home cheerleaders” so to speak give me when I am off gallivanting the world while finding pieces of me which have been left behind on previous short-term trips. It’s to them that I’m able to do this and that this year is even possible. Without them I’d be lost and not able to go on. I’m forever grateful for their ongoing generosity, love, and support.
Typically, I’ve been able to make it back every couple months, but my longest and most difficult stint was 5 months away from home while I traveled northern Ontario, Miami & Key West, Australia, and New Zealand. I went five months straight away from my family, friends, and house. Four months away from my loving and supportive boyfriend. I couldn’t dream of a better support system. Who in their right mind would support someone to travel full-time for the majority of 14 months when it means you don’t get to see them throughout? My family, boyfriend, and friends have said YES to me as much as I have finally said YES to myself. I’m nearly brought to tears thinking about their selflessness in encouraging me to pursue my dreams when it means they loose me for months at a time. I couldn’t be more grateful.
Last year, I started my year off with a trip to the Dominican Republic with my mom. I wish I could go on every trip with my loved ones, but I know that’s just not possible. Recently, after 4 months away, my boyfriend and I got to reunite and go on a vacation all of our own… to CUBA. Spending 8 days in Cayo Santa Maria was a dream come true because we got to explore a new turquoise destination together. For once I didn’t have to say goodbye, but rather we were able to travel together. It’s moments like this when 4 months away are erased and forgotten with a glimpse of the beautiful turquoise sea while holding the hand of the one I love.
With only two months left of full-time travel before I return to work, I’ll only be saying goodbye one more time when I depart for my 15 country trip in Europe. Even though I have said it more times than I can count, I am still dreading saying bon voyage again.