Jacob Leistra / "Game Boy" / PCT 2019

Saying Goodbyes

By now I’ve said my goodbyes to friends, family, and colleagues. I went to happy hours, had the going away breakfasts and lunches, and ate awesome tacos at family dinners.

I’ve realized I’m not good at saying goodbye, which is odd because my childhood was filled with saying it. In addition to my family moving a quite a bit, I was raised between separated parents. Winter and summer breaks commenced and concluded by flying coast to coast. As expected, you have to say a lot of goodbyes. Maybe it’s because I’ve been firmly rooted in Sacramento for the past five years, but my “goodbye skills” are not as polished as they once were. A more likely explanation, however, is that goodbyes are harder when there’s more you’re leaving behind.

It’s bittersweet to leave the memories and comforts of home, especially when the people that really made it home are all staying behind. And that makes me wonder: will I have to return to Sacramento to feel at home again? Or will I be able to make another home somewhere new? I’m split: I want to shake up my life and take on some new challenges. In large part it’s why I’m hiking the PCT, but I still feel the people and experiences I’ve had here are irreplaceable. That’s why saying goodbye doesn’t feel as easy as it did growing up.

If I haven’t said it to you yet, I appreciate all of your support and love. I’ll miss you all and I hope we see each other soon. Goodbye!

Well, that’s enough sappy stuff. Onto to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Photo: Sierra Nevada views from Sad Boulders in Bishop, CA in March 2017.