au revoir

| goodbye | /o ʀəvwaʀ/

Travel is not for the faint of heart, because traveling means always having to say goodbye.

Tomorrow I’ll leave behind my apartment, laden with memories, and embark on my first-ever solo journey through Eastern Europe. Here I’ll go, snaking across the European continent in pursuit of I don’t know what. But I hope I find it. I need to get away from this city for awhile. I’m tired of bracing myself against the painful bombardment of memories that awaits me behind every corner. Indeed, what’s more painful than realizing you missed your chance at love due to timing and geography.

Just as Morocco represents for me an oasis in one of the darkest winters I’ve ever known, I hope Budapest and Romania will help me heal in the midst of these goodbyes. I have endowed these destinations with some sort of sacred power, as if they were my own Mecca on the far east side of the continent. Perhaps it’s foolish to bestow such significance to these cities, to these countries. After all, they’re just places, right? But, no. “Places” have shaped me. My travels have endowed me with a unique brand of confidence that can never be compromised. This confidence has propelled me to move abroad, to take risks, to be constantly in motion.

But this constant motion has left me heartbroken, and not for the first time. Because moving, moving, moving means waving goodbye on a regular basis. And it seems so unfair, because those relationships built abroad are arguably the strongest, the least vulnerable. So it follows that you’re torn apart when it’s time to say goodbye.

I’m trying to be strong, but I can’t promise that tomorrow, when my train pulls away from the platform, I won’t press my fingers up against the window and reach for you.

About Gabriella

I'm a twenty-something insomniac with a caffeine addiction and chronic wanderlust. I recently graduated with my M.A. in French, and I've spent the past two years living and working as an English teacher in France. I now work as an English professor at a university in Lille, where my students are learning to never omit the Oxford comma.
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