August 22, 2015 at approximately 7:00pm, I witnessed a bittersweet conversation between 2 guys — Miquel and Teddy:
Miquel: It’s time. I have to go to the bus station now. (Miquel spent 17 days in Sucre, which was longer than planned, so it was time for him to continue on with his journey).
Teddy: It’s hard to say goodbye to you. I may never see you again as this may be the end for us.
Miquel: How many times have you done this? Saying goodbye to people you meet on the road?
Teddy: Thousands of times. People always leave. Sigh.
The conversation ended with a hug. Miquel and Teddy became good friends after spending hours and days at the same hostel. I became close to both guys and it was hard to see either one of them leave and goodbyes never get easy but you’ll just get used to it.
It’s been more than 2 months since I left Manila. 2 months, 2 countries and one valuable realization that definitely hit a soft spot in my heart —
How everyone you meet on the road has an expiration date (and I don’t mean death).
It is a cycle starting with you staying in a city for a few weeks or longer, meeting new friends, making the best memories of your life with shared moments, and then with a snap of a finger, it’s over. That as much as you want to stay longer and create more memories, you know that either one of you has to start moving again at one point.
It is emotionally stressful to see friends leave one after the other but soon enough, it will be your turn. You’d once again be excited about exploring new places and meeting new people but at the same time, feel sad about leaving the people you made good connections with, and all you’re left to do is hope for the best, for good people and good things to come along the way, and for that next group of travelers you’d be encountering to have as much of a good energy as the last one.
To live a life on the road is bittersweet. You get to see amazing views, collect unforgettable experiences, and encounter extraordinary people but on the other hand, everything in your life is temporary. People will easily come and go.
Some will surely make an impression, some you won’t want to see again and some will make a lasting memory. You cannot be selfish and stop them from leaving, and you may or may not see them again but know that there’s always a reason why your paths crossed.
To everyone I met and will be meeting on the road, know that each of you made an impact in my life. I started this journey as a wandering soul, perfectly clueless as to what the life on the road will turn out, but I know in the end, everything will make sense like how each one of you fit like puzzle pieces and created a bigger picture of my life.
Until then, safe travels my friends. Salute!
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien,