Saying goodbye, until we meet again

Pristine and Laila

Countdown to broken heart: T-2 days.

They both knew this was coming but they didn’t want to think it was coming this fast. Pristine’s first friend in Dubai, whom she knew since she was three at school is going to relocate to Canada with her family. They will leave in a few days.

The hardest thing about expat life is that, all of us are going to say goodbye – it’s just a matter of who says it first.

They met when they were three – the time and age when we build genuine, deep friendships regardless of age, gender, size or even language. Pristine didn’t know how to speak English when they first met, yet they immediately clicked and have been inseparable ever since. They breathe each other.

My daughter wants to send off her best friend at the airport. But is it even a good idea? Won’t she be hurting more? At this age, it’s difficult to understand that saying goodbye is part and parcel of expat life. Sometimes, I envy people who have remained in the same town their whole lives with family and friends on their doorstep, for whom the airport is about the excitement, adventure and holidays.


  1. I suggest you let her go to the airport. Yes, it would hurt, there would be tears for both, but I think it would hurt more if she doesn’t see her friend till the very last time it is possible for them that they can be together.



  2. I think seeing her friend disappear through the check-in gates at the airport will give her closure. So I say yes, let your daughter say goodbye properly.

    My children went through the same because they were all born and raised here. I think they resent it if they don’t get to say proper goodbyes, so I let them go and have a farewell dinner, etc and see friends off at the airport. So when it was their turn to say goodbye, they also had friends waving them off at the airport.

    I hope Pristine does not get too brokenhearted about it.



  3. I remember moving from Illinois to Kentucky when I was 8 and then Kentucky back to Illinois when I was 9 and both times I bawled my eyes out! It was such a horrible feeling leaving friends and family behind that you’ve known all your life.

    Quite frankly I think you should let Pristine see her friend off; hopefully it’ll help give her closure and give her friend who’s moving a good memory for when she’s in a completely new place.



  4. I feel for her! For both of them. Going to the airport may give some kind of closure, but it will be hard. Do what she wants to do.

    When we moved to Indonesia with our kids, our 9 year old missed all her friends and had a hard time for a while, felt lonely until she met new ones. My friends are all over the world, and not in one place and yes, sometimes I also wish I had a place where I “belonged” with friends I’d known for years and years. It is not to be…



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