Saying goodbye is never easy. Especially when it's a, "I don't quite know when I'll next see you" goodbye. Even if you rehearse and plan for it. Even if you promise that there will be no tears. And even if you've done it a million times. I'm sorry to say it, but it just doesn't get easier. But, as an expat/traveller/nomad/wanderer, saying goodbye is inevitable. It's a fact of our lives.
Here are my 3 simple steps which I hope will make that airport goodbye a little less painful for us all.
1) Keep your farewells short and sweet
You know the old KISS saying. Well, now is the time to apply it. Quick hug, quick kiss, and be done with it. Don't bring up the fact that you don't know when you'll see each other again. Just hug, smile, kiss, and be gone. Trust me, it’s easier this way. Or, you could try what my family and I do. We always end our goodbyes with a, “See you next weekend!” statement. Usually it's for something involving wine - and it definitely takes the awkwardness out of the goodbye.
2) Limit who comes to airport
Three’s a crowd – especially at an airport. If you’re lucky enough to get a lift to the airport, keep your spectators to two at the absolute most. Airports are emotional places as it is, and the more is certainly NOT the merrier here. If you do have family coming to the airport, apply rule 1 and promptly say goodbye at the customs gate. Make sure you walk off through the gates with a smile though, as this will make your family happy. Even if that does mean that tears start flowing as you venture through customs. No judgement on that side of the gate! Be brave, my friends, you're almost there!
3) Get a drink
Hooray - you’ve made it through the hardest part! Once you're through customs, find the closest bar. Now, it's time to celebrate the beginning of your new adventure, so get yourself a nice glass of something cold and refreshing, and give yourself a pat on the back for being a trooper. Cheers to you!