I have never been a fan of saying goodbye…unless it involves cleaning and throwing things away. But saying goodbye to people and places has always been something I dread. Thankfully, all of the “goodbyes” I had to say in the last few days were only temporary ones.


On June 30, I will leave the USA and embark on the journey of a lifetime all the way to Tasmania. Not Tanzania, that’s Africa, rather I’ll be spending my time abroad in Australia. As excited as I am for my Australian adventures, a few “see ya laters” had to be said first.


DU has been my home for the last two years. Sure I’m from Chicago, but now when people ask me where I’m from, I usually respond: “Denver”. I have grown attached to this city and the thought that I won’t be able to go to a concert at the Ogden, have some Illegal Pete’s queso or ski the Flying Dutchman for seven whole months is almost too much to handle. Thankfully, the city and mountains will be waiting for me when I return in all of their splendor and glory.


I’d love to say that I felt sad saying “see ya later” to the stairs of Sturm or to living in dorms or eating in the dining halls…but that was just pure happy, genuine relief.


Saying “see ya later” to my people was an entirely different story. Last summer, between my freshman and sophomore year, I stayed in Denver. Even then I was apart from my best friends for a summer and that was difficult, but three months pales in comparison with seven.


The night before my best friend and I left on our 16 hour road trip back to the midwest, we had dinner at Beau Jo’s (classic last night in Denver dinner) with our other two best friends. Everything was perfect, like it always is when we’re together. It wasn’t until we hugged at the end that it really hit us. Since we met, we have never had to be apart for that long. Skype will suffice, but having to be apart from your chosen family for that long is never going to be a happy thing.


That same night, I had to say “see ya later” to my boyfriend. Granted, that “see ya later” was said with his trip to Chicago in two weeks on the brain, but abroad still looms in the distance. But for now, I’m going to ignore abroad when it comes to him because that’s a different post for another day.


After a 16 hour road trip, I got to spend one more night with my best friend and in the morning, I saw her off without her seeing me cry (that happened once I was back inside). My girl has been there for me every second of every day since we were randomly assigned to a Towers suite together freshman year. I know that won’t change even when I am 9,848 miles away from her, but not getting to rock out to “Love is an Open Door” or eat chicken nuggets with her by my side is going to be terrible.


As much as I will miss my city, my university and my friends, this is just what needs to happen before what will surely be one of the best experiences of my life. It’s a sacrifice, but it’s a sacrifice worth making.


And besides, it’s never goodbye…only “see ya later”.