Threatening to leave, especially to another continent, seems to make people behave extra specially nice. I’ve been relishing the attention but the goodbyes are starting to get to me; I just want to get moving now.
I guess the price you pay for cashing in your “I’m leaving” chip comes later, when many of those who waved you off start falling out of touch, or gradually filling your space with other people. Better remember that and not expect everything to be the same when I return.
Thinking about leaving also has me remembering the last time I went to live in a far-off place – to Peru, when I was 18. This time, I’ve barely had that feeling of being torn almost unwillingly away from the safety of home – now I’m older, “home” doesn’t exist in the way it used to. But something else has changed: this time I feel much more of a sense of trepidation at what might go wrong in my home or family life while I’m away. Nothing concrete, just an imagining of needing to come back for some reason or of needing to check up on people. Maybe that’s because I’m going for longer, or maybe because at 18 your sense of responsibility is barely developed. Which is just how it should be, I guess.