Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden

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I am not a fan of packing. I don’t like it. It is the part of traveling that I like the least (although it is one of the most important parts). Thankfully, one of my flatmates has agreed to help me in the process. By help, I mean, I am sitting down writing this as she does some sort of rolling technique to my clothing to save space. Either way, I know I will have to pay the price (literally) for my luggage to return home. I am so grateful that she would help me move out and I have had several friends volunteer to drive me to the airport or pay for my taxi (not a cheap ride) to the airport. What can I say? They are AMAZING!

In fact, while I was saying goodbye to my friend who lives next door to me, I surprisingly got emotional. She was talking about how it’s so sad to say “goodbye” because you honestly don’t know if you will ever see the friends you have made here again. With the economy, life, school and everything else going on, who knows if we will ever see each other or Manchester again.

The reality of her words set in as I sat across from her with a table between us.

This could be the last time. Wow, she is such a sweet and genuine person. I’ll really miss her.

As tears well up in my eyes, one manages to escape as it slides down my cheek in an unguided way.

Don’t you do this! Don’t you cry. This is ridiculous.

But, is it really ridiculous to show emotions? To show sadness? To show appreciation for friendship via tears?

No, it’s not.

So I won’t be ashamed for crying as I say “goodbye” to a friend that I literally may never ever have the opportunity to sit across from in a room, with the only thing separating us is a table. Way may not be in the same continent, country, time zone, etc ever again. I think that says a lot.

Since I’m leaving tomorrow morning, I have been bombarded with hugs and well wishes and gifts from the kind and beautiful people (inside and out) I have met here. I do not like saying “goodbyes.” In fact, I contemplated just leaving without saying anything, but if our friendships ever meant anything to me, I owe them that. I owe them a proper goodbye, full of hugs and smiles and maybe even a few tears.

So as we exchange well wishes and double cheeked kisses, they’ll know that our friendship was real and that even if I never see them again, they have affected my life in immeasurable ways.

For that I am forever grateful for the opportunity to live in Manchester and to meet many wonderful people along the journey.

Until Next Time,

M.S.

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