Sitting at the airport, ready to depart to Sydney, Australia, where I will be studying abroad for the next four months…I watch one of the great films of many that Audrey Hepburn acted in called Love in The Afternoon. In the film, our lovely icon meets a man who tells her he finds it best if people meet between planes. He thinks the concept of constantly having to leave creates a perfect space for people to meet. He says the time between planes is short and sweet and without complication, and it provides a nice sense of closure. He finds it comforting when people and places are absorbed in contained, clear amounts where they don’t spill into the next adventure or thoughts going forward in life. I used to think this way to a degree as well, but now as I sit here ready to embark to my next adventure in Australia, I can say my thoughts have changed.
I have just been living in London for the past few months through another study abroad program called FIE. Although I struggled with living in London at first, I ended up loving it for the people I met there and how I ended up feeling about the place in general. I feel like people and places hold a lot of similarities in my mind, actually. Sometimes I get somewhere new and I instantly feel connected to it, or sometimes it takes a while for me to get to know a place, but when I do, I really do love it. I feel the same about people: sometimes I click with a person instantly and sometimes it takes a while to feel comfortable or become a good friend with someone. I also feel that when traveling, it is heartbreaking to meet people and places, and then leave them. However, I have come to the conclusion that it is better than never meeting them at all. I feel the sadness of leaving places in the past led me to the mindset that it is easier to compartmentalize my adventures along with the people and places I meet on them. I was very much for the idea that people should meet only between planes. I think, however, this is just pure laziness; out of sight, out of mind cannot work for me anymore. Of course I am always talking to my close friends and family from home, but I need to make more of an effort to stay in touch with people I meet randomly on my travels who really connect with me.
Now as I sit ready to board my next flight, I am doing my routine I do before I leave any place. I am going through the list of all the friends I have made and contacting each individual with a special message telling them how much they mean to me, and how much I appreciate having got to meet them. Only this time, we are exchanging addresses to write actual letters to each other, and making plans to visit each other at different points in life (and really meaning it). It just feels different. I have never simply decided to not keep in contact with people I meet in different places, but very subconsciously I feel like I tend to always close a mental chapter in my life when I leave a place. That is not how people and places work, though, and it was not how they were ever meant to. Not then, not now, not ever. We live in a world where everyone tries to understand the world better by organizing it and compartmentalizing everything into little boxes and frames. This is necessary for order, and to exist as people I realize, but there must be a balance. I no longer want to compartmentalize people and places I go and meet in a chapter that reads “between planes” in my mind. I want them to come onto the next page of my diary and keep them always in the back of my mind. As I board this next plane, the space I leave behind in London is so much more than simply a point A to my next point B. When it comes to leaving Australia it will also be so much more than a point on my journey through life. People and places are things that stay long after one leaves, in a sort of snowball effect to create the person I become after rolling through life I feel. I cannot wait to see what people and places I will meet in Australia!
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<p>I love to write, and I have for as long as I can remember. Being by nature, listening to all genres of music, dancing, playing instruments, philosophy and film all interest me intensely. I love learning more than most other things, and I search for "off the beaten path" everything, when I go anywhere.</p>