Before the journey: The hardest part about leaving homeby Jakob Horvat, November 8th 2016, Karlstetten / Austria
I was really looking forward to this last weekend at home. At the same time I was afraid of it. Now that the goodbye ceremonies with my loved ones are over I can state: Leaving home and everything behind for fourteen months to reach out for the world makes me deal with emotions I have not known before. This adds up to my assumption, that the person they are saying „goodbye“ to is most probably not the person they´ll say „hello“ to in one year. That´s a good thing.
It started in the office last week
The steps through the hallways felt lighter that last day at work, my smile became brighter. And then, out of nowhere, my boss caught me off the guard when opening our farewell meeting by singing Freddy Quinn´s „Junge komm bald wieder“. I have never heard him sing. I wanted to avoid these emotions in the office. But then there was it, the first tear. It was not the last one.
Goodbye, ORF Report!
I am lucky enough to have my company taking me back after my trip. My job will still be there. And I am happy to say that I am looking forward to get back to it. But one year is a long time and a lot of things can happen. I think my colleagues too had that in mind when raising their glasses. And suddenly I felt a connection to them I´ve never felt before. It might be that one often realizes what he had once it´s gone, which is especially true for me. I´ll spare you with details here. But sometimes taking a step back and getting distance to my comfortable life makes me appreciate it even more. A process which has already begun.
How to put moments with friends in your backpack
Once I start inviting people to a party I can´t stop. Especially not when it´s my farewell party. My closest friends have come to laugh, dance and drink with me one more time. And then there was this magic moment shortly after I held an obligatory speech. I was looking at 43 people with smiles all over their faces, that view took my breath away for some seconds. I was smiling, staring, trying to inhale the moment. To save it for later, to recall it when needed. When my dear friend Benjamin Danzmayr entered the room with his guitar and took it up a notch.
That overwhelmed me and finally left me speechless. Nobody said saying goodbye was easy. That´s another dimension though.
Deepen connections through distance
After we had cleaned up the flat – well, my sister had while I was asleep – it was time to leave Vienna for some last days with my family on the countryside. I am not a hypersensible person. This weekend you could have believed that though. When the heart warmth of your family takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions you know you´re at home. Adventurousness, curiosity and anticipation for what is about to come is mixing up with sadness and melancholy about what to leave behind. Leaning back, accepting all emotions as part of the journey and laughing while joking around with my closest folks is a gift. And it gives me certainty that whatever happens, there will always be a place to come back to. But to understand the true importance of something, you got to leave it behind. For a certain period of time.