This week, after 10 years of being friends, it was time for you to say goodbye and it was hard. You see, you’ve done more for me than I ever could have imagined and I’m not sure I ever really got a chance to thank you properly.
I took you around the world but you SHOWED me the world. You showed me things about my planet and myself that I never knew were possible and in the process helped me discover myself.
We travelled together for a good few years to America, Paris and the Dominican Republic amongst others but I think that sadly I only really began to appreciate you in the last couple of years because that was when you began to show me the ‘power of me’.
Two years ago when I was thinking about going around Asia for 3 months solo you begged me to go but I was full of doubt. I didn’t think I was strong enough. I was scared, in a relationship, in a stable job and full of worry but you held me up and made me realise that I didn’t need to do it alone. You gave me strength when I came to the sad realisation that I had been in a 4.5 relationship with a man I only thought I loved and booked my flights when I wasn’t really sure what the hell I was doing with my backpacking or anything else in my life. You told me to rediscover who I was so I did just that.
I counted down the months, then weeks before I was due to have my ‘once in a lifetime’ journey. The journey that would supposedly lead me to the self-discovery and awareness I had been so desperately seeking, for so many years. But most importantly, you were there for me when I needed you the most; you helped me run away. I wasn’t sure I could backpack after losing my new relationship and baby but you picked me up when nothing or no one else could and reassured me that leaving was the best thing for me at that time and that I wouldn’t regret it; you were right in ways I could never hope to explain.
You taught me that it was okay not to enjoy myself just because I should. You showed me that leaving home didn’t leave my problems but that distance and time were great healers. You told me that allowing myself to feel whatever I needed to (good or bad) was the only way to truly be kind to myself. You taught me that it was ok to cry on a beach if that’s what I needed to; it was my journey and everyone’s journey is different. But you also showed me just what true happiness is. What it feels like to experience something that makes you feel so happy you forget you have any problems, you’re not worrying about money or life; you’re just in that moment and loving every bit of it.
When I came home from our first long trip together, you became part of my soul. I could never change the many tears of joy and sadness I cried in those three months around Asia and I wouldn’t want to because without them, and you, I never would have discovered my thirst for long-term travel. I never would have discovered that leaving home, not staying in it, made me happy or that, whilst leaving didn’t solve my problems, it gave me enough time and space to grow stronger as a person. I can’t thank you enough for Asia. I was a broken mess and you picked me up each and every time without asking for anything but my love in return; a true friend.
And when I told you we were going to Africa for six weeks and you would meet seven stamps along our journey, you became as excited as me; you were about to ‘go out’ in style because who doesn’t love to say that they’re going to Africa for over a month?! I was excited and scared at the airport but once again, you held my hand, told me everything would be okay and we flew. We flew, not just into the air, but the unknown. Without you, I never would have realised just how strong a person I was when I struggled with my demons that knocked on my door from almost day one. As I slept in my tent for those six weeks, you reassured me constantly and before I knew what was happening, we were having the time of our lives together. You eagerly awaited your next stamp and country like a child with excited eyes and couldn’t wait to proudly display your colours with every new stamp you achieved.
You were there for me when I realised all the flaws in my personality and hated myself, crying on the truck, you held me up when I was beyond exhausted spending my days and nights thinking about my life and the paths I had taken and you showed me just how beautiful myself and nature could be if I only allowed myself to see it. Without you by my side I’m not sure I could have coped with the isolation I felt due to my group but you knew I could do it which is why you pushed me every step of the way. You knew I could jump into the edge of the largest waterfall in the world when others backed away and fly like a bird to watch the angels in the mist of the waterfall. You knew I could challenge myself to eat things I wouldn’t normally and to dive head on into situations I wasn’t use to with confidence because you told me everything would be okay and I trusted you; after 10 years together, I could do nothing less. Most importantly though, you were there for me when I finally found myself; it was just you, me and the acceptance of everything in my life from the past, present and future. You woke me up and gave me a direction in life I had been so desperately seeking for too many years and you were proud of me because of it.
And so, this week our friendship came to an end and I miss you already. I miss your colours, your unwavering belief in me and the ability to show me things about myself and my world that I had no idea existed. You’ve put me in touch with a good friend of yours and I look forward to the friendship that we build together after all the things that you and I have taught each other over the past decade. We both realise that we’ve changed; we’ve grown up in the last two years and that it’s time to move on. So I thank you Dear Passport; you have been my rock, my confidante and my best friend.
Your soul mate