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).
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 that 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…