While you might be excited about the new trip you’re undertaking, there will always be a little uncertainty there – after all, in order to have your own adventure, you’ll probably have to say goodbye to everybody and everything that’s familiar to you, including your parents, your partner and even your pets. So how do you cope with the separation?
Family and friends
First, it’s only fair that we’re honest with you: saying goodbye to your loved ones is never pleasant, and it’s not something you’ll ever really get used to. Your family are the most likely to worry – they’ve seen you grow up and lived through every high and low with you, so the thought of you flying thousands of miles away is understandably hard for them. You might find their worrying silly, but be kind; they’re conflicted, but they’re happy for you. Unfortunately, you might not be able to say the same for your friends – while most of them will be excited for you, make sure not to gloat too much. There’s nothing worse than carrying on with your normal routine while your Facebook feed is filled with friends climbing mountains and drinking Sangria in the sunshine. Don’t be that person!
If you are in a relationship, unfortunately long-term travel plans can be a bit of a deal-breaker. Should you stick with it, or go your separate ways? It’s a hugely personal choice and one that you’ll both need to speak about frankly and openly. If you feel you’ll still want to be together when you get back, then work for it, or agree on a “break” while you’re away. Otherwise, it simply may not be worth it – the world is full of new people, and if your heart’s not in the relationship then there’s no point denying yourself opportunities for an ailing relationship. Just make sure you’re honest with your partner, before you leave.
For some people it’s actually pets that cause the most heartache; often they become our best friends and confidantes, and the idea of leaving them for months at a time is heartbreaking. Like any friendship though, we have to work to make them last. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to leave your pets in the care of a friend or family member – although we don’t recommend leaving them with a partner, as long distances can put enough strain on a relationship without the added obligation.
Whoever ends up taking care of your pet when you leave will need specific instructions and you should make sure you’ve done as much as you can to minimise the impact they will have on your friend’s routine – and pocket! Make sure you have a comprehensive pet insurance policy in place, bulk-buy dog food, write down any and all requirements, and make sure your pet’s foster parent has a webcam, so you can still say hello once in a while!