The Art of Farewells and Reconnecting: 8 Ways To Make It Easier To Say Goodbye and Reconnect
"Are you excited?” My husband asked me on the way to the airport. “You know,” I said, “it's always such mixed emotions.” I'm excited to go home, but then I think, wait, where is home? I'm excited to see my family and friends whom I miss very much, excited to see my loved country, to be around familiar culture, smells, and tastes. Yet, traveling always involves such mixed emotions because home is there, but home is here too. As much as it’s exciting to see my loved ones overseas, it’s difficult to say goodbye to my loved ones here and the routine I’ve grown to love.
I've been wondering a lot about the farewells and reconnections we experience in each location we belong to. How can we prepare ourselves so we can alleviate the pain of separating from the people we love? If we've experienced relocation, are we doomed forever to feel torn between two places?
My 7-year-old daughter is an expert in farewells and reconnections. She was born into a reality of life between two countries and effortlessly adjusts to each location and connects with loved ones everywhere so naturally. She can also part without any pain or difficulty. She just says goodbye and moves on. I’ve learned a lot about how to reconnect and manage goodbyes from observing how she manages herself every time we travel or host family and friends from overseas.
1. Practice Gratitude
I don't think that my daughter actually practices gratitude. But I've noticed that she is happy and feels complete everywhere we are.
Practicing gratitude in the context of relocation can mean being grateful for belonging to more than one place. Often, individuals who have experienced relocation tend to feel as though they belong nowhere. Being thankful for the opportunity of experiencing life in different locations can help you feel a sense of belonging and connection to both your original and your current location. This can make it easier to say goodbye or reconnect, as both places are home.
2. Invest in Creating Meaningful Relationships in Every Place
Developing new and meaningful relationships where you currently live can help you feel less homesick and more connected to both places. With the support of the people you love who are there for you in each location, reconnecting and separating will be less challenging.
3. Focus on The Here and Now
4. Create a Schedule for Your Visit
5. Plan the Next Time You're Going to See Each Other Again
Sometimes not knowing when the next time you'll see each other can put a lot of pressure on your visit and increase the difficulty of saying goodbye. Therefore, if it's possible to have a general idea of when you’ll be seeing your loved ones next can help you focus on enjoying your current visit without worrying about the farewell.
6. Create Fun Goodbye Rituals
Being aware that farewells can be emotional and may be painful can help you prepare for the actual moment. Fun goodbye rituals can alleviate the pain when separating from the people we love. Maybe a funny handshake or a hug, sharing the top three moments from your trip, or have a special saying when looking in each other’s eyes can replace the tears of goodbye. Such rituals can add a sense of playfulness to an emotional moment and help you focus on your loved ones and appreciate the time you shared together rather than on the sadness of separation.
7. Make it Short and Sweet
Years of goodbyes have taught me that time doesn't necessarily contribute to easing the moment of separation. Saying goodbye to people we love and care about can be difficult regardless of how much time we've spent together or the length of the farewell.
While observing my daughter, I've noticed that she adopted from a very young age her own way of separating from friends and family. She makes it short and sweet as though she's about to see them tomorrow.
Too long a visit or farewell can make it more difficult to say goodbye. Consider how long you plan to be with your loved ones so it won't be too long yet you'll have enough time together. Also, try a short and sweet farewell; maybe you'll discover that if it works for a 7-year-old, it might work for you too.
8. Keep in Touch