Am I Going or Am I Leaving???


Going to a new country means leaving a lot behind. This is something I think about often. Old friends, new friends, family, co-workers, people you see every day and make small talk with, etc. My upcoming adventure is not a “study abroad” program for 2 weeks in 3 different cities, nor is it an experience abroad through a government program where I live with a host family for a month and then return home. No, this is something else entirely. This is a move to a new country, a place where I know no one, a place where I’ve never been, and a place that I do not fully understand. It’s a venture into the (mostly) unknown.

When I travel, I always think about going places. I’m always going somewhere, I’m never leaving somewhere. Going is fun and exciting, who doesn’t love to go places?

When I think about this trip coming up, it’s been tough to think about leaving. That’s because leaving is a lot more work than going. It’s easy to go somewhere, all you have to do is get up and walk, run, drive or fly to where it is. Leaving, on the other hand, is mental work. It’s mental stress! Will my family be okay? Will I lose contact with my friends? How about all of that legal stuff, what am I going to forget that’ll come back to bite me in the ass 3 weeks into my trip and 3,000 miles away? What in the world am I going to do with my car? I can’t take it with me, that thing won’t fit in my backpack. Am I tied down to anything I don’t know about? What in the world is my address now? What if I need to order something from Amazon, who do I ship it to? I left! I don’t live there anymore!


Going is always exciting, even planning to go is exciting. Going is the stuff dreams are made of, life simplified into an adrenaline rush. Going is my favorite thing to do.

Leaving isn’t as much fun as going. It might actually be my least favorite thing to do.


John DeSarno


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