Sitting at my gate lounge in Abu Dhabi waiting for my last flight home, I have a bit of time to reflect and recount the happenings of the past few days. They were filled with packing and organising and putting away jumps and riding – dressage, jumping, trot sets, gallop sets, and hacks. They were also filled with goodbyes.
Yesterday (or was it today?) I said the hardest goodbyes of all. I said goodbye to several humans, two dogs, and one very special horse. I cried many tears, and held back many more. The hugs were never ending. The gratitude flowed endlessly.
When people encourage others to go overseas, to travel, and to live and work abroad, they tell you about all the fabulous things you’ll experience – the great memories, the friendships, the amazing times to be had. But what they don’t tell you is how hard it is to leave. Particularly with another 16 hours of travel before I return home to my family and friends, I feel like I am in the ‘in between’ – unable to let go of what I’m leaving but also unable to grab hold of what’s waiting for me, because I’m not there yet.
Despite the emotional trauma, I can’t forget the amazing experiences and memories I have made along the way, and I know these will keep me going when things get even tougher. Stay tuned for a more detailed account of the final days in Aiken.