Colorful lights, that turn the floor into a dance of green, red and yellow dots. A mixture of fog fluid and smoke pushes inexperienced ‘breathers‘ to their limits and lets perceive people’s faces shadowy. In the early morning, the playlist of my goodbye party initiates an old tradition. My friends and I sing Peter Maffay, an old German songwriter, while being in each other’s arms.
And when I go, only a part of me goes.
A moment, that gives me goosebumps every time. A moment, that almost moved me to tears. A moment, that rang in the hardest goodbye I’ve had so far. Not only because of the surprisingly long time I stayed back home, but mainly because of the girl I woke up next to on the day of my departure.
The wait is over!
My journey into the uncertain reached its next stage. South Africa, Cape Town. My planned route is more like a direction. Egypt. As is usual by hitch hiking. As is unusual with a new constellation – at least for the first few weeks. Ola, a slim, tall, brown haired half Greek, half Russian. We crossed paths when I was hitch hiking through Turkey and as soon as she read about my Africa plans, she asked me if she might join for a while. We will hitch hike through South Africa together for about 2-3 weeks. Afterwards we’re gonna part ways and I will be headed towards Namibia.
Soo..it’s all going great, isn’t it? I can finally sweat due to high temperatures again, I found a last minute host on the date of my departure and I was even able to celebrate my birthday surrounded by family and close friends – yeah I know, I do look way younger than 28 – but still.
While I’m writing these lines, I’m sitting in an air conditioned Boeing machine next to a not understandable American lady, trying to move my feet in a rhythmic way in order to prevent thrombosis. Excitement and regret are shaking hands. I am someone who loves to give advice. Within the last weeks I got to admit to myself that I also love to break these advice. A meeting, that made me seriously question my whole trip for the first time since I’ve started.
Luisa. Long black hair cover her fine-boned face. Wooden ear plugs remind me of an almost forgotten plan. The morning awakening next to her body, that variously gives and needs warmth, reminds of what I sacrificed for this way of life. During the last 4 weeks I had an almost normal relationship. One that came with a huge premise. A premise that made us damn that bloody timing quite frequently.
I tried to persuade myself of goodbyes getting easier over time. They don’t.
Before I’m gonna weary you with my current traveling plans, I wanna share a German carnival picture. A time of the year, I’m definitely about to miss.
Even prior to our encounter, I was considering flying home in the beginning of June to attend one of my best friend’s marriage. The development with Luisa sealed the deal. I’ll fly back in the end of May and figure out how my future journey will look like. A journey, which slowly starts to feel more and more serious.
Until then, nothing is gonna change. I’m excited to explore Africa, to share my stories and to find out from where my flight back to Germany will actually depart. At the same time though, I can’t wait to get home and find out, what alleged bad ideas can effectively lead to.
The feeling of happiness only lasts for seconds, but you keep the reminiscence of happiness.
A few hours prior to my flight, I found myself sitting in our winter garden, opening my goodbye gift and reading over a hand written letter, trying to decide whether to cry, or to be happy. Instead I decide to be thankful. My journey may cause heaps obstacles but then again. It pretty much led to the both of us meeting. I lighten up another cigarette, put the letter on our glass table and smile. For a few seconds I forget about all the eventualities and imagine, what the future might hold for me or even for us. As someone how’s close to reaching an important milestone – hitch hiking 40075km, the circumference of our earth – I’d refer to our chances as over-average.
A chance, I’ve learned to live with.
The fog slowly pushes itself out into freedom and lets the shadowy faces turn into real people. The goodbye party tradition song is almost over. Touching words, good wishes, tight hugs and a kiss.
I could not have imagined my goodbye to be any more beautiful.
I could not have imagined my goodbye to be any more difficult.
Peter Maffay slowly fades out and I’m sure that I haven’t heard that last line for the actual last time.
And when I go, only a part of me goes and the other one dreams with you.