Leaving things behind.Our first big loss.

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Our lovely Godard.

Travelling is not just fun. Homesickness, sadness and loss will meet you on the way.

Last week was the first time I thought about going back to Brazil! Seriously, it was the first time I realized how far we are from home and from the people we love. Today we were suppoused to be talking about Toledo(an amazing historical city in Spain), but instead I decided to write about something bigger, to write about how we deal with losses and homesickness.

What made me change my blog plans? My sweet cat and furry friend Godard passed away. Ten years of friendship just ended and I had no chance to say goodbye to him! Our first loss, something that we were not expecting to happen soon. Something we presumed that would happen in the far future, and definitely we weren’t prepared for.

Planning a trip is all about excitement and looking to the future. Dreaming and planning about where to go and what to do. But what most of the people don’t realize is that your past and present are as important as your future. All your major decisions about the trip will be taken based on what you believe and feel. All your story and feelings will shape your next footsteps.

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Pool party with friends!!!! Miss you guys!

 

Most people who I met on the way asked me why do I want to travel, or if I was unhappy with my old life. My answer?? I just want to live! We are a couple in our 30’s, used to have a nice life, great friends, amazing family, two adorable cats, a house and jobs. But we felt that something was missing, the need of seeing the world was getting bigger inside us. Leaving the comfort zone and getting to know new people, places and cultures was inevitable to us.

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To reach this new dream we had to leave some important things behind, and it wasn’t easy at all. I wasn’t able to say “Goodbye” to people, I kept telling them that we were leaving just for a couples of days and “See you soon” was the convenient greeting to use. We are not leaving forever, but also we have no clue when we will be back home. After all it is an open plan long-term travel, nothing is sure and everything is possible.

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My dad, me, Rob, my father and mother-in-law and Rob’s grandma.

 

The most difficult “au revoir” was to our family. To look at our grandparents and think that it can be the last time we see them it`s a heartbreaking feeling. Seeing in Rob`s parent’s eyes a mix of happiness and the sadness made my soul freeze. It`s was painful but really necessary to say good-bye. To hug them tightly, to kiss them and promise we will be fine.

To keep the homesickness away we stay in touch with family and friends by email, Facebook, Whatsapp and Skype. It is not the same as talking and touching them, but it helps to smooth the sadness of being far. The hard part is not being able to talk or touch our cats. If you have a pet you understand my feeling.

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Godard and Dandara posing as The Cration of Adam from Michelangelo.

We left our two cats with Rob´s parents: Dandara and Godard. She has 12 years and he was 10 years old. Danda was a bit sick already and we were prepared to receive bad news soon, but Godard was fine, pretty, furry and happy! When Rob`s mum called us, I couldn’t believe in what she was telling.  My cat had a heart attack. In less than five minutes he was gone. I will never have the opportunity to pet  and hug him again.

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Me and Rob  were crashed, that Wednesday was sad, grey and full of doubts. For the first time we truly realized that we are far from everything and everybody that we love and bad things can happen to them. I felt that my hands were tied, that I can not play with the future, or believe that bad things will never happen to us. Not being able to kiss, to touch or to say goodbye to our cat made me be sure about  how important it is to enjoy every moment and every person of our lives. When I lost my mum I had this feeling and I thought that nothing would be able to make so sad again.

We are missing the cats a lot. I miss their purr, the fun around the house and the soft touch of their fur around me while I sleep. I miss the coffee with Rob’s parents  in the end of the day, or the sunday lunch in my grandparents. The dinner with our friends.  You see, I do miss home, but not material things. Sensations, affections, little pleasures that you won’t be able to fulfill through internet. These are the worst things to leave behind.

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My hen party, I do miss my friends!!!!

 

That`s why I push myself to enjoy every moment, everything and every person. You have no idea what comes tomorrow, so don’t waste time (my mum always tried to teach me this, now I understand why).  Be happy, be nice to other people, be helpful and generous. Take the most of everything and, when the day comes and you have to leave something behind, you won’t mind because you already had the best of it.

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It has been three months that we hit the road and until now we were fine. I’ve already cried a couple of times (and yesterday again), but as a girl I’m allowed to. Rob is less emotional than me, till last week he seemed to be holding well. Now I´m not sure. He cried a lot and also thought about quitting the trip. I think he realized that we can’t control everything, and leaving things behind is a daily task in our new way of life.

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Rob and his good friend Marcos aka Cabeça.

 

But don’t worry, we are fine! Just a few more days and we will be great again.

For everybody that we left in Brazil and for all the friends and people we are meeting on our way I just want to say “See you Soon”! Nowadays the world is so small that I believe I will catch up in a next corner around the world.

 

 

16 Comments

  1. Posso imaginar a saudade que vocês sentem, mas tenho a certeza que a minha imaginação não chegue perto do que é de verdade. Mas tenho outra certeza, vocês sentem essa saudade das histórias, dos momentos, das sensações e das pessoas porque você viveram momentos únicos e souberam aproveitar.
    Eu lhes digo então que vocês não deixaram para trás tudo isso, não, vocês levam com vocês e foram adiante para conquistas novos momentos, novas sensações, novos amigos. E hoje em qualquer parte do mundo que vocês estejam, haverá algo tão distante digno de saudades, sejam pessoas, lugares, sabores…
    E só podemos perder o que conquistamos, aprendi que quem não perde nada, não conquista nada. Então que tenhamos muitas perdas, perdas metafóricas, ou até mesmo infelizmente as reais, pois longe ou perto não está em nossas mãos. E vocês dois trilharam histórias tão legais com pessoas tão diferentes e com a família que há muita experiência nessa bagagem, que jamais serão perdidas e no fim, é isso que importa.
    E o melhor de tudo, que se a merda garrar de verdade, há sempre um porto seguro chamado lar para retornar, acalmar o coração e pensar na próxima grande aventura!
    Abril é logo ali e será nossa esquina da vida.
    Até logo!
    PS. Adorei a lembrança da foto!
    =]

    1. Will,
      O amor tarda mas não falha!!
      Obrigada pelas palavras de carinho a apoio. Vc é aquele tipo de amigo que permeia a nossa existência, as vezes tão perto e outras vezes tão longe. Mas não importa a distância, o tempo ou os destinos, quando nos reencontramos é só gargalhada, carinho e planos malucos para o futuro.
      Pois é, um dos nosso planos malucos já está em fase de consolidação. Paris nunca mais será a mesma depois do nosso encontro por lá! Contando dias para matar a saudade, para se divertir e também sentir um pouquinho do calor e atenção dos bons e velhos amigos que ficaram no Brasil!
      Beijosssss

  2. I left my cat with my parents when I moved to Qatar and it is my biggest fear. I can’t explain to her why I had to leave and it’s really hard because I don’t know if she understands. She was also really sick when I left but has rebounded and loves living at my parents. So sorry for you loss!
    Tiffany recently posted…Are There Any Medical Personnel On Board?My Profile

  3. Oh I’m so sorry about Godard. I don’t have pets but I am a cat-lover and can imagine how much you love and miss them when you have your own.
    I’m planning to go away for an indefinite period next year and am worried about leaving people behind and what might happen when I’m away, for potentially a very long time…but I agree with your assertion that it’s important to live, and that we can’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow and we can orientate our lives over what “might” be, just live for now. Hope you continue to have happy travels.
    Rachel.
    The Imagination Trail recently posted…London to Barcelona by trainMy Profile

  4. So sorry for your loss…

    I also understand your dilemma.

    When we left Australia, I had to question it many times as my grandfather was not so well at the time.

    Then in the end you ask yourself, can I, or would he put his life on hold?

    Of course not.

    Thankfully, he is also now healthier than when we left, so there must be some good karma in that sort of attitude!
    Chris recently posted…Rollin’ on the river…My Profile

    1. You are so right Chris!!
      All choices we made in life have consequences, and we can´t put our lives on hold because fears or maybes… Be apart from my family made me give more value to the moments we are together, enjoying every second!!
      I´m glad to hear that your grandfather is going well! All the best to you two! 🙂

      Nat

  5. I’m so sorry about your kitty! Losing a pet is such a heartbreaking event, especially since it was quite unexpected. Your kitties are really lucky that you made sure they’d be loved and cared for while you’re gone. <3

    We moved with 2 cats and a dog to Europe from the US, but we're expats here, not nomads. So far it's been worth it, but sometimes it's maddening that we always have to worry about them when we travel. We actually snuck our dog into a castle in Romania because it was too hot to leave her in the car and we couldn't bear to miss it. Luckily she's small and well behaved!

    Hopefully you can take comfort in knowing you're free to travel as much as you want for as long as you want, but you're also free to go home whenever you want. And when you do, your other fur baby (and your family and friends) will be there to greet you!

    1. Hi Carrie,
      Thank you so much for this lovely message!
      When you have a pet for long it’s hard to say goodbye, but as you said, now I have the freedom. Also, the love and moments we shared will be forever in my heart.
      I can imagine how hard is for an expat to leave the dogs and kitties while travelling, have you tried pet sitting? We do house and pet sitting once a while and is a good way to be connected with animals and a peace of mind for the owner who need to travel.

      Thanks again, and enjoy Europe!!
      All the best,

      Nat

  6. So true..it takes a lot of courage to do what you are doing. We are still sticking to our full time job and family, while we love to travel occasionally. We dream to quit the day job one day and travel full time or at least be completely location independent. When I think about it, there is an excitement and an equal amount of insecurity that I feel at the same time…

    1. That’s normal Neha. When we started I was insecure and not sure if I would be able to handle this new style of life… But we can’t let the fear hold us back. It wasn’t easy, and it’s still now not easy. However, I’m happy with my choices and that the most important thing in life.
      Keep your job, your family and your routine as long as you are happy with them, because if you one day you decided to change, there will be no regrets!
      All the best!!
      Nat

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