Goodbyes – Love and Letting Go

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This one was written over a month ago now in the wake of the ending of my relationship with Fallon. I wasn’t sure I wanted to post it, but it seems right that such a significant period in my life be commemorated on my site. I’ve not edited it at all since I wrote it in early January.

Goodbyes are a common part of life on the road. Differing itineraries and budgets mean that no friendship or relationship on the road can last forever. Eventually you’ll have to part ways and experience that bittersweet mix of emotions as you’re both grateful for the time you’ve had with a person and sad that the time was not longer.

For almost two years I was lucky enough to have shared a path with Fallon. Having met at a house party in Gwangju, we bonded over our mutual hatred of night clubs and our mutual closeness to our families.

Our friendship didn’t take long to blossom into romance as I finally opted to take security and affection over the high drama that had colored my 2008 love life.

Fallon introduced me to healthy relationships. To unconditional support and affection. She patiently guided me through anxiety attacks and educated me on the finer points of a relationship that is driven by more than just sex and drama.

Over the course of our near two year relationship, I not only grew tremendously as a person – but I also grew tremendously in life experience.

With Fallon I took up running and ran in my first races, I kayaked and rock climbed for the first time, scuba dived, surfed, zorbed, black water rafted, and hiked a glacier. I discovered a passion for travel and photography that spawned this site. I learned to appreciate healthy foods and country music.

Essentially, the Chris of 2008 bares only the slightest resemblance to the man I am today. I will always be grateful to Fallon for not only opening my eyes to a world much larger than my living room – but for loving me unconditionally throughout our travels. I only hope she left our relationship having learned at least half as much as I did.

I won’t sully our goodbye by giving a blow by blow of it here. It was a private thing shared between two people who loved one another enough to let go. For a long while our paths coincided, and when they finally split it seemed unfair that either of us be forced to compromise our hopes and dreams for the other.

I will say freely that saying goodbye to Fallon was the single hardest thing I have ever had to do. Kissing her that last time and sobbing out our final goodbyes is an experience that, a week on, still conjures up a hollowness in my chest. Could I have had that final moment last forever, I’d gladly have taken it. In our final moments together the gravity of both our situation and our affection for one another hit home. I have been forever changed for the better by her love.

A week on from our parting I miss her companionship. Rather than watch what we had inevitably spiral into an ugly break-up as we realized we wanted different things we opted to instead go out on a high. My final two weeks exploring New Zealand and Fiji with Fallon were amongst the happiest days of my life.

I have so much to be grateful for in my life: Loyal friends, good health, and a loving family. I’m also grateful not only for the two wonderful years of love I shared with Fallon, but for the countless years of friendship I now hope to share with her. I’ll never completely stop loving her (I don’t think you ever stop loving somebody. You just start loving somebody else), but we’ve done the right thing. I’ve lost a girlfriend, but I’ve kept my best friend.

That’s worth any short term sadness.

I won’t write more on this subject. A wonderful chapter of my life is over and a new (and hopefully equally wonderful) chapter has begun. But I couldn’t let such a significant moment in my life pass without remark. I hope you’ll forgive me my indulgence.

If you’re lucky enough to share the path you walk with somebody who enriches your life – be sure to tell them how grateful you are to have them by your side. You never truly know how much a person brings to your life and your travels until your paths diverge.

Thank you for so many fantastic memories and experiences Fallon. Here’s hoping we both have many more ahead of us. And maybe someday our paths will cross again and we can walk a ways together. It was never dull.

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