Don’t worry, I’m not leaving the island yet! But I have to write about saying goodbye as this is what we do here every week.
Our guests stay with us for one, two or sometimes three weeks. “Arrive as a Guest, Feel like a King, Leave as a Friend” is our slogan, and we really mean it. We are very close with our guests during their stay here, have all the meals together at one big table, sing and dance on various occasions, have a drink with them at the bar at night and usually get to know them quite well. With some, the connection remains a friendly, but distant one. But with many others, we develop a friendship and look forward to them coming back – which they often do.
So saying goodbye is not always easy. Especially since our farewell ritual involves singing and dancing, giving it a very emotional touch. Our guests always leave on Fridays, and the first few Fridays I struggled with my emotions. As soon as I spotted a tear in one of our guests’ eyes, I started crying too. I didn’t want them to leave (and neither did they) and would have liked to get to know them better.
But the longer I stay here, the better I become at saying goodbye. I wouldn’t say I became less emotional, but I just got used to the ritual and the rhythm of resort life. It’s the way it goes – some guests come, and others leave. And where else would I have the chance of meeting so many interesting people? I can always decide for myself if I want to keep in touch with them or just wait for them to maybe come back one day.
But occasionally, someone grows on you more than others. That’s when saying goodbye hurts a little more. I think it also has to do with the fact that seeing them leave makes me think of my people back home. I’m not homesick as such, but I do miss my family and friends. Goodbyes remind me of that, as on normal days, I don’t have much time to think of home. My daily routine is quite busy, and the days just seem to fly here.
Saying goodbye in a resort also means I have to get used to new guests the following day, as they always arrive on Saturdays. I mostly look forward to meeting and getting to know them, but whenever there is a good group of people here, I would just like to keep going with these ones and not have to start all over again. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to tell people how I got here and how the resort was built, etc., but just not always.
I have only been here four months now, so I have not had any repeaters come back yet. But I am looking forward to next year, when the first ones return, and I will be able to continue with them where we left off when we said goodbye.
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…