Reflections on “goodbye”

When traveling, people often make a sudden splash, and the ripple effect continues long after parting ways ….

People come into my life for three days, two weeks, four months, one year — I never really know for how long and I’ve learned to anticipate short stays — and we share an adventure or commiserate over failings that have led us to a particular place.

To be honest, some people I have met on the road are as short lived as a May fly — just a conversation on a ferry, a plane or a bus ride. Yet, they shared a remarkable story from their life or some magical pearl of wisdom fell from their lips, and I’ve locked these precious bits away in my heart for safe keeping.

Every once and awhile, I do look back and wonder why I have crossed paths with certain people. And I always find they appeared when I needed something. I needed a new piece of the “life puzzle.” I needed a shoulder to cry on, a lesson, inspiration or a good laugh. And I suppose that maybe I gave them something in return even if I will never know what it was.

Saying goodbye to these “splashy” people is always bittersweet because the adventure we’ve shared is over. And while goodbye is often just “see you later” in disguise in the traveling world, sometimes, and usually you know when this will happen, people who have left a mark on your heart slip back into the chaos just as mysteriously as they emerged, never to be seen again.

Still, the ripples go on. And the things I have learned continue to shape who I am as I move forward.

* I always prefer to say “see you later” as life is beautifully unpredictable.


After an amazing journey from Darwin to Alice Springs, I have said fond farewells to new friends who I hope to meet again someday. For now, I return to Byron Bay to jump back into “normal life” in paradise.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Denise Beaurivage says:

    Bridget your words are heartfelt and very touching. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us!

    Denise Beaurivage

  2. Thanks, Denise! It’s just a pausing point before a new chapter. 🙂 I hope you are well! How is everything back in New Hampshire?

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