It’s short but insightful! Thank you for calling me brave 😉
I am usually the person that stays behind and watches the people I grew close to leave for new adventures that won’t include me. Saying goodbye is never a pleasant feeling; saying goodbye and having to stay in this new reality that won’t include those particular people is even worse. There is always this “well-meant thought” that is meant to console you:
“You will meet new people!”
But if you grew close to someone it’s hard to just replace them with someone new.
As a student from Luxembourg in Luxembourg, I tend to drift towards the Exchange students (no matter if Erasmus, Global Exchange or even Researchers). I am interested in their stories and lives from all those countries abroad that I haven’t visited yet or have visited but for too short to actually get to know anything about the locals, also I believe that people outside of Luxembourg are more open and chummy than the cold souls of my motherland! The downside is of course that all those people make it to this tiny territory for a limited amount of time only, usually 6 months. I get to know them, build friendships and most of the time I’m also the first and only Luxembourger that they have any sort of contact with that is deeper than a quick “Hello!” while walking past. I take it upon myself to show people a better image of the Luxembourgish folk than they tend to be. I know them, they are my people and therefore I am completely in the know of how they react to strangers and/or foreigners.
Lastly, I agree with you that both “sides” have their issues. The traveler is a lonely soul that has to adapt fast to its environment, while the stay-behind has to cope with the environment that they are familiar with. Both are an addition to each other’s lives: the traveler brings something new and fresh to the stay-behind’s life, and to the traveler the stay-behind represents some sort of shelter from the loneliness. At the same time, they envy each other’s lifestyles: one wants to experience the feeling of not being bound and seeing new places that hold new adventures, the other yearns for a stable home and to settle down. But both also know that they would not necessarily be able to go through with the other’s lifestyle for too long.
However, giving it at least a try is the best shot they both got.