May 2, 2012

TRAVEL TIPS: How to Say Goodbye

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I will preface my insights on saying goodbye to your new beloved home with this: behind my sassy, sarcastic exterior is a big sentimental baby, and no one hates goodbyes more than big sentimental babies. I just, like, have a lot of feelings. Okay?

Reality is a cruel and relentless broad, and the moment she rears her ugly head for the first time in months (let’s be serious, you left all things associated with “real life” behind when you boarded your plane in January) will forever haunt you. Cue the anxiety, the whirlwind of overwhelming emotions, the sheer panic. Instead of enjoying your last few days abroad, you’re consumed with worry.

Perhaps thoughts such as these are swirling around in your head: How am I going to find time to take five finals, rage every night, see the museums I put off going to all semester, and pack? What souvenirs should I bring back for my family? When do I break things off with my new European lover? What in the world will I do without my beloved Vodafone/Orange/Movistar phone? (Jk, I know exactly what I’m going to do with that obnoxious brick of “technology”) How do I properly thank my homestay family for putting up with me? How do I put into words what this experience has meant to me, and how do I make my friends and family “get it”? And how do I even begin to plan a ceremonious goodbye grand enough to mirror my vast appreciation for the city that has stolen my heart?

So maybe you’re not stressed out about fitting 12 pairs of shoes in a duffle bag or deciding which post card to send your Grandma, but chances are you are dealing with at least some pre-departure anxiety. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom that I’m clinging to get me through.

Alexandra Ruby is a junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She can be reached at [email protected] Notes from Abroad: Travel Tips appears on Thursdays.

Original Author: Alexandra Ruby