Saying goodbye on the open road.

When it comes to road trips, the drive home is always more painful than the drive to start. There’s a lot different about the two. Differences that go deeper than the obvious “beginning vs. end”. Differences that relate to your experiences, exhaustion level, expectations met, unmet and exceeded. Life is about energy and the energies of “start” and “end” are much different, aren’t they? The start of an adventure means excitement. The end can mean enlightenment and/or resentment. One makes you long for the future and the other, the past, a naturally heart-wrenching topic. I think we can agree, saying “hello” is a lot more hopeful than saying “goodbye”.

But what if it didn’t have to be?

I recently finished up an adventure that took me from Los Angeles to Austin, TX with #AmtrakLIVE so that I could spend 9 days at SXSW and then take a 3-day road trip back through the southwest with one of my best friends and lover. It was a dope and exhausting trip. I saw old friends, made new ones, ate more barbecue than I ever have before in my life and got to top it all off with a speedy drive through some of the most beautiful country in the world.

SXSW Road Trip 2014

This road trip held plenty of challenges and plenty of scenery. As we sometimes forewent interstates and busy highways for state routes and dirt roads, the end approached, as the end will tend to do. And even though we were having fun, stopping to check things out or shoot the shit with locals, I could feel myself fearing the end of it all.

Note: a cliché is approaching at high velocity.

Saying goodbye.

That’s the thing about goodbyes: they’re never really goodbye. Cliché but still true. Adventures come and go in life and people do too. Some adventures will end and you’ll feel like a better person. Other times you might head home with regret. No different than relationships, right? It’s the adventures and relationships that make life worth living. And as these adventures and relationships weave intricate webs throughout your life and mine, intersecting and then diverging like a two-dimensional helix, it will be the constants that we start to take note of. Who was always there and why does this same thing keep happening? Cause and effect repeat throughout life, creating an overarching theme from birth to death of whatever your deepest issues and inspirations are. There’s no resisting it. All we can do is hope we live long enough to understand it all. To look back in old age and have some grasp on the meaning of our lives and the significance of each “hello” and “goodbye”.

The road to Los Angeles from Austin, TX is long and hard and so is the journey to becoming a completely Positive + Transparent person. But we’re in this together, even if at some point we have to say goodbye.

So, what exciting adventure does life have in store for you next?


Author: Eric White

Eric graduated Ohio University in 2012 with a degree in Advertising and immediately went out to San Diego, California to start not using his degree. At the start of 2013, Eric quit his job, let his lease run out and started backpacking North America. Eric has worked with Amtrak, Crowdtap, HootSuite and others, and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA... when not on the road.

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  1. to feel deeply, in positive and negative ways, is one of life’s gifts.   Breathe in the moment…  thanks for the post!

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  2. Wholesome article indeed…I can’t ever remember saying “good bye” without the forward focus of something better for me to/and embrace . I have always sealed the joy of moving on with the warmth of those who wish/pray me well in my new venture(s). The scary side of “good bye” is always smothered with the positive flexing of the muscle of  “hello”  to the new time/place/event unfolding before me. Believe me (sincerely) all my “good bye’s” have been/led to positive events/growth in my simple life…… strange as this seems……”good bye” are the words leading me always to a fuller/productive life. My parents were delighted to see this attitude unfold and even to this day, I have felt the graces of this attitude sustain/strengthen me. I love your symbol of “the road” and find it to be a terrific image of both following and discovering….although I have had my difficult moments when leaving the paths of others…….but this too, has caused me to say “good bye’ with the positive sights laid upon the new emerging horizon(s).   All in all, you have brought forth a strong flow of thoughts and an over active mouth full of opinions …….I’m grateful for the venting…….and hope you’ll be grateful over my saying “good bye” …….always with sincere thanks !

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