It was looming since quite a while, but because I had been so busy and occupied with preparations, I was able to fade out the unavoidable. My last day of work, saying good bye to my co-workers and ending an important stage of my life.
As the day inevitably approached, I more and more realized that this episode is really going to end soon and that it will be sadder than I originally expected. Looking back at it, those almost 2 years were exciting and instructive but the true difference was made by those awesome people I worked with. Everyone was so kind and friendly right from the start and each one of my colleagues was just great as an individual. The same also goes for my supervisor which is anything but self-evident. We had the self-concept of being a sort of guerilla or special unit within this huge company. This and working in a high pressure environment as we did just forged a really strong bond. But also on a professional basis this episode was very inspiring and ultimately got me to the next level. All this really made this last day a tough one and truly bitter sweet.
On the day itself I made a fruit cake (so proud of me), got some bubbly for everyone and we all gathered in my office for one last time. Some kind words were exchanged and I was given the coolest farewell present: An individualized leather passport cover with my travel route printed on it and with the pictures of all my colleagues on the inside. Wow, such a great idea. I will sure use this one and remember the good times every time I will have to break out my passport.
So what’s the lesson? I guess from that day on I really started to grasp the whole scope of the decision I took. The fact that I really leave everything behind together with the challenge of having to start all over upon my return and the uncertainty that comes with this. It really made me appreciate all the things that have happened in those 2 years and all the people I have got to know. I am not sure, if I would have been able to do this to the same extent without leaving now.
You tend to take things for granted and only start to truly appreciate once these things are gone. We should all be thankful for what we have and make ourselves aware of the good things in our lives. They are not for granted, they are fleeting and can disappear faster than you might think. I guess this is the first important lesson this trip has taught me without having even started.