Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Departing for a long journey is bittersweet.  Amidst the excitement of the last minute preparations and the anticipation of the journey to come, there is a hint of sadness.  Leaving is tough.  What will we miss while we’re gone?  How will our absence affect our cherished relationships with others?

The days and months seem to race by when we’re away.  Just how long we’ve been gone becomes evident upon our return by how much our friends’ children have grown and changed.  We have transformed also.

We do our best to stay in touch with people while we’re away.  This blog is part of that, along with email and the occasional telephone call.  But it’s not the same as being there to cheer them on their big day, or consoling them during a loss.

In some ways traveling seems a selfish thing to do.  The pursuit of my dreams is self-indulgent, even if I believe that doing so is my way of contributing to the world.

I’m not complaining.  I know that many people would give a lot to do what we do.  I am incredibly grateful for the lifestyle we lead.  But we cannot escape the reality that choosing to travel means giving up on other things.

As we prepare to depart, every interaction with friends and family feels more intense.  I listen more intently.  The hugs get longer.  And then I remember that that we’ll be in Paris soon, and I feel a bit better.

“Parting is such sweet sorrow” – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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