Realisations of ‘Bye’

Tomorrow I’m flying to Bangkok as the first stop of a three month trip around South East Asia. I’ve spent the last two months alternating between planning and procrastinating but the last week has been spent saying ‘bye’. I said bye to my Dad at Leeds train station, I said au revoir to my Mum in London after dog sitting for her for a few days and I’ve said farewell to friends at various events designed to eat, drink and be merry! Here’s a few things I’ve learned from my last week of ‘goodbying’.

I’m just like my parents
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I thought I’d be cool saying ‘bye’ to all my friends. I hoped to leave an impression of general cavalier-ness and ‘chill’. However, when it comes down to it I find myself saying all those things my parents would say. ‘You take care now!’ ‘I’ll be thinking of you!’ ‘Wish you were coming!’

There’s a lot I don’t know about my friends
All the gossip comes out now that I’m leaving! We’ve asked each other all sorts of random questions ‘just because’ and there’s been so many unexpected, random answers. Here’s a tip: If you ever want to find out a secret, pretend your going travelling for three months!

I don’t see people enough
Only when it’s too late do you both think ‘oh, this is fun, we should do it more’! Then you have to be like ‘nah, let’s not see each other in an even longer time because I’m getting outta heeeere!’ (That’s my childish way of covering up how much I love my friends and how much I wish I saw them more.)

Emotion surprises you
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Let me explain. From what I can tell, saying bye effects you in one of two ways: you either think you’re a very emotional person and it turns out you’re not or you think you aren’t and you are. Here’s my proof. Me – very emotional, not a single tear shed at any ‘goodbye’s’. My boyfriend – not particularly emotional, tears everywhere. That’s an exaggeration but he definitely shed more tears than me and I will be reminding him about it A LOT. So, whatever you thought you were… you’re not.

I have WAY too much stuff
There is stuff everywhere!! It’s under the bed, behind the sofa, in the cupboard, on the cupboard, in the attic, in other peoples attics, crammed into boxes that it can never fit back in, etc. There’s just too much stuff.

But I don’t need that much
After hours of deciding what I will need and what I won’t I have finally managed to fit everything into one large rucksack. It may be jammed in there with the intricacies of a Chinese puzzle and probably will never fit in again after my first night away but t’s nice to see that I can live off so few things.

I love my home town
Leeds
Occasionally I moan about Leeds but going back there knowing it might be for the last time in a long time made me like every little thing. From the corn exchange where I used to buy numerous pairs of fingerless gloves to the well-loved Leeds United fans.

I’m last minute
I never thought I was last minute. In fact, I have repeatedly described myself as ‘organised’ to many people. Yet, trying to plan my life for the next three months has proven me wrong. I got travel insurance two days ago, scanned my important documents yesterday, finished packing today and I’ll be getting travel money tomorrow… Soooo, not that organised.

Poundland fixes everything
I’ve been saying this for years! No eye mask? Poundland. Need toiletries? Poundland. Want travel sweets? Poundland! Planning for my travels has proved Poundland is wonderful once again.

My favourite thing is notebooks
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I think I already knew this but my impending trip has confirmed it. When picking and choosing which belongings to leave behind, I found I had a bit more of an attachment to stationary than I thought. Never have I felt so much pain as choosing between the many untouched notebooks that I’ve bought over the years.

I know nothing about the world
I really have no idea what I’m getting myself into. This becomes more apparent every time someone asks me about my trip and I have NO IDEA. That’s alright though because this way I can be blissfully unaware of all the sticky situations I’m going to get into. Wish me luck!

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