Reflections on Beginnings and Endings…

I was having a conversation with a dear friend who already has lost both her parents.  It was a bittersweet conversation remembering parents gone on both sides and how parental relationships live on beyond that event called “death.”  The conversation took me back to reflections I have been having this past week about how life, like travel, is a long series of beginnings and endings.  Some endings are close to their beginnings and some are far apart.

In travel, for the most part beginnings are full of excitement and eagerness (except for some work ones…):  ready to take a break, ready to see a new place, ready for a challenge (hiking Kilimanjaro), ready to see people I enjoy seeing and being with (family and friends), or ready to go to places I know well for a sense of “home” (Santiago, Paris).

Plane ticket, paper ticket ,travel, flights, nostalgia, no electronic ticket,

A plane ticket from days gone reflecting many beginnings and endings all in one

Endings in travel, on the other hand, sometimes are not the “funnest.”  Of course, this is not always true.  Sometimes I do long to return to my home base and see “my people” and enjoy being in my home (I happen to like where I live, I suppose!).  Or sometimes a trip has been too full of action and its ending is a welcome break for rest.  But who likes to leave, say, Italy and all that amazing food??  Or leave a beach resort where life is lazy, full of sun and fun?

But, like in many other things, without endings there would not be new beginnings.  What would life be if it were a non-stop trip?  (I can already hear some RTWers or global nomads disagree!)  Of course, I mean this more in a philosophical way but the kernel of truth is the same.  If there were no moments of sadness, the joy in joy would not exist, right?  Same with travel beginnings and endings:  much as I may not want to leave dear ones I am visiting or a destination I am so connected with, I would not get to experience the joy of reuniting with loved ones if the visit never “ended” or I would not get to experience the thrill of arriving in that awesome destination!

Easier written about than lived by but that is my aim:  to always remind myself when those endings come, those endings bring an opportunity for new beginnings too.

May your life be full of exciting and sought-for beginnings (with some good unexpected ones) and may the endings be nothing but sweet…



  1. I can totally understand this. Hard in the moment, especially when I had to leave Africa – I cried the first two hours of the plane ride home…I know, I know. But, I know I’ll get back there again one of these days, and knowing that makes it a little bit easier. 🙂
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Egypt’s Famous Dish: Koshari.My Profile

  2. Interesting reflections Raul. Going through some beginnings and endings myself over here and it is so true – at times so bittersweet, and others, relief. Who knows what the future holds, but when yesterday’s door is fully closed, I hope an exciting new door will open.
    Anita Mac recently posted..From Paris With LoveMy Profile

  3. You know how my trip last fall went,,,,,,, nice story.
    Karl recently posted..Going strictly carry on with Osprey Porter 46My Profile

  4. I think even global travelers have this experience, but it is just more pronounced because their trips are years instead of weeks. Even Nomadic Matt stopped traveling full time. Leaving is always exciting, and coming home is bittersweet.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Traveling Ted becomes a Great Lakes MasterMy Profile

  5. Interesting indeed.. although after a long trip, no matter if work or play, I love coming back home.. and obviously start plotting the next one too!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..Ole! A girls lux weekend in the South of SpainMy Profile

  6. Its true! As much as I hate my travels coming to an end, its always wonderful to head home and recharge with friends and family!

  7. Great thoughts, Raul. For a while I thought that I’d want to travel non-stop, but I don’t think that way anymore. I think there needs to be an ending so I can get excited about the beginnings. That’s part of the fun of travel–the excitement beforehand.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Luxury and Leisure at Maui’s Fairmont Kea LaniMy Profile

  8. Love the old Eastern Airlines ticket… classic.

    I always believed good endings make good beginnings; good luck on your next adventure where ever it takes you…

    stay adventurous, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Sunset Sunday – Luang Prabang, Laos and The Mekong RiverMy Profile

  9. “Easier written about than lived by but that is my aim: to always remind myself when those endings come that endings bring an opportunity for new beginnings too.”

    So true. I’m a very nostalgic person so I have to focus sometimes not to live in the past – and input like this post helps. I agree wholeheartedly, thanks for a reflective post.
    Anne Karen recently posted..SUMMARY: DublinMy Profile

    • Anne, thanks for sharing. I agree it is hard to not stay focused on what just ended – great experiences are to be savored, aren’t they?

  10. Indeed they are, but like you say the anticipation that follows new doors opening is something to really savor too. I find, more and more, that the potential of future events makes me feel really alive 🙂

    I’m reading about people who travel more permanently, hoping to adopt this way of life in the near future, this “one big trip a month”-stuff is just not cutting it for me anymore 😉
    Anne Karen recently posted..The Life in DublinMy Profile

  11. I just got back home from a place very dear to me and those returns are never easy. But I do enjoy having a home base and time for all the experiences, emotions, etc. to sink in. Plusmy bed is very comfy. 🙂
    Pola (Jetting Around) recently posted..Photo of the Week: Bookstore in Buenos AiresMy Profile

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