February 02, 2013

Difficult to say goodbye

Good bye Düsseldorf

Hiking with friends
During my time in Düsseldorf, Germany I have been meeting a lot of fantastic people, and I have built a lot of relationships. Some of the people I have met are people that are fun to hang out with, but we don't necessarily share something really deep, others are people that I share a lot with, people I will always love and respect and hopefully always stay in touch with. Some of these I now count to my extended family. Some have moved on, physically, and now live and work in new areas, or will move on relatively soon, others remain in the Düsseldorf area.

But it's not just here in Düsseldorf I have formed these strong relationships, moving abroad also changed me as a person, and made me reach out and build relationships elsewhere, it made me realise how where there is a will, there is a way; the real friendships and other relations don't necessarily need you to be close, from a location point of view, but can be close in other ways, even though it may not come naturally, instead you have to make an effort - something I see not the least with my niece, who was born after I left Sweden, but whom I still manage to have a relation to, thanks to Skype and thanks to her wonderful parents who really wants us to have a connection, and therefore make a real effort of staying in touch. There are way of staying in touch.

Düsseldorf Altstadt, where friends meet
That said, saying goodbye, or at least "Auf Wiedersehen" - see you again - to dear friends in Düsseldorf is not going to be easy. I do know that I will see many of them again, because unlike my old friends in Sweden who are rather bound to Sweden, my Düsseldorf-friends are in most cases frequent travellers already, not the least for business, and as most of them are expats, they value the possibility to stay an extra day or two just to meet with friends or family, or take an extra turn just to see a new place and an old friend. Furthermore I am convinced that a few will end up in Asia for a while - a number of them are already there.

I said in a post on Twitter at some point something along the lines of "cheese is the thing I will miss the most, because friends can travel". That is of course not true at all, it's the people I will miss, but I am convinced that many of them I will see again, not the least because I don't plant to stop travelling myself, even if I have to pause it a while, and also stick to Asia when I am in Asia.

Saying goodbye is however still going to be very hard and I am already now feeling a sting of panic: What have I done, and what will happen now, will I ever meet such friends as I have here, and will I ever have as much fun and learn as much as I have here? And while I know, on a logical plan, that I will, and that I will learn even more from moving on, there is still, somewhere on an emotional plane, that worry.

Because good friends means the world.

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