The last goodbye.

Goodbye…  a word that when I backpacked around the world become all too common in my vocabulary. Saying goodbye was something that with time I got used to saying, because the circumstances backpacking the world put me in. I met people from all over the world and knew that at some point I would have to say goodbye to them. Some were people I met for a moment in time and others are people I spent days or even weeks with traveling together around different cities and sometimes even countries. Some of the people I met I knew I would probably never talk to again, but some I knew we had something special and would stay in touch down the road.

Gay Cairo

—Our shadows at the Pyramid of Meidum.—

The truth is though I never thought I’d be saying goodbye to someone I fell in love with twice. I said goodbye to him once before when I left Egypt to finish my travels in Southeast Asia, but my love for him made me come back to Cairo and I’ll never regret doing so. We spent 2 amazing months living together in our very own apartment in Cairo. Those two months also happened to be the last 2 months of my trip around the world. During those two months though we were honest with each other like we have always been and found that even though we love each other so much the desires we have in life are not the same and the circumstances in which we are in make it very difficult to be together. With that being said we knew that when I left Cairo we would be ending our relationship. Once again I was living a love story with an expiration date. The day we had be dreading did come and after 13 months of being together we said goodbye, but this time it was different because we knew it was the last goodbye.

It was the last goodbye of my 2 years on the road and it’s the one goodbye that keeps replaying in my head over and over again. I’ll never forget the moment I said goodbye to him and left in the cab to the airport. It’s the goodbye that’s causing me so much pain and it’s pain I feel like I can’t express with anyone. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him or wonder if we made the right decision. To me he was the most amazing man I have ever met in my life. I loved his smile, his eyes, his laugh. I also loved the way he touched me, he talked to me, the way he understood me and always knew the right thing to say for everything. The one thing I hated was that I trusted him 100% and that not once did I ever doubt anything he said. That is something I had never experienced before and it scared the hell out of me. I mean really it’s fucking scary when you trust someone 100% right… or is it just me?  In my eyes he is perfect and can do no wrong and even today I feel that. I can go on and on about all the things I love about him, because the list would never end.

The reality that I am facing now is that I am home and not only dealing with reverse culture shock, but with a broken heart as well. What is worse is that it was mutual agreement to break up and niether of us is at fault. I’m only human and you know we naturally feel the need to blame someone when something goes wrong, but I have no one to blame, not even myself. I’m trying to take it a day at a time, but it hasn’t been easy. He was the one constant through out 13 months of my travels and  we talked just about every day no matter what and still do even though we know it’s not good for us. We know we were never friends and went right at it, but he has been like my best friend and now that we are not together any more I still love him and want his friendship.

Even though we stay in touch he is now a part of my past that is a memory like the million other memories I made on my journey around the world. It is a memory that I can not reminisce with anyone at home because no one was there to live it with me. It is a memory that is intangible and for ever a fragment in my mind. I remind myself that I am a big believer in “everything happens for a reason” . It’s a belief I am struggling with now, but in the end know that I have no clue what the future holds for me so will take it a day at a time like I have been doing.

As I finish writing this in my bedroom in tears I don’t know how to end this post. I guess I should end it by letting you know that this is the last time I will write about my relationship with him and that I left a piece of my heart in Egypt. A country I adore and love and know one day I will go back and see more of and wish it all the best as it struggles through yet another revolution. I also want to let you know the reason I never said his name or put a photo of us together on my blog was because he asked me not to for concerns of his safety in Egypt. Egypt is a conservative country and even though homosexuality is not a crime by law it is still seen that way by the people that enforce it and could cause trouble if this were found by the wrong people. That is why I have had to get creative with the photos I use when I write about him.

The good thing is even though I know he was the last goodbye I know he is a person I will stay in touch with down the road because we had something special.

The story from the start:

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  1. I am so sorry to hear you are so heartbroken, Jaime… and I understand what you say when you talk about Cairo and the situation there. It’s very hard to have a relationship in general when in Cairo (did you know I am a whore?), and I saw too many gay friends having trouble.
    As you ended your post saying “I don’t know how to end this post”, I really don’t know how to end this comment or what to say to comfort you. Just take your time, breathe in, and try to recall the good memories that make all this worth.
    Giulia recently posted..Cheap accommodation in Iceland: staying with the locals

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks for making me laugh Giulia, I know in Egypt you are a whore and if you are that than lord knows I am worse…lol. It’s okay I know with time things will get better and if not well at least I know where to go. Thanks for being here for me and I’m so happy we got to hang out tons in Cairo. Hope our paths cross again and I’d die of laughter if it was Cairo again…lol. I’ll take my time and remember all the great memories.

  2. As you said in a previous post, ’It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.
    Great post, great love story!
    I really hope you guys can have a happy ending someday in the future.
    Take care and all the best!

    Cheers from Brazil!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Evelise, you are so right about that quote. It’s one of my favorite. I hope so too about the happy ending, but who knows when.

  3. Jaime, This must have been a tough post to write. I know, because it’s similar to one of my own stories and one that I haven’t really shared.

    Rather than trying to figure out what to say, I’ll just share my own experience because I went through something very similar during my RTW trip. I met a guy in Israel — my first boyfriend — and we certainly loved each other. I stayed in Israel longer than I was supposed to so that I could stay with him, but did eventually leave to continue my travels. And, like you, I returned a few months later into my trip to live with him (for a month). When I left him again, we kept things pretty vague, and he soon followed me for a short vacation…only for us to eventually break up. It was really hard, my first breakup, and I felt pretty lost at first. Take your time and remember the memories. I’m sure you’ll find a way to keep moving forward!

    Thanks for sharing such a personal story.
    Adam recently posted..Making your own adventure — a travel mishap with Germany’s trains

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Adam it was very tough for me to write… & half the time just had no clue what to say. I’m sorry though that you had to experience something very similar to this. I know how you feel and it’s hard, but as the cliche goes with time things will get better and that is true. So that’s all I can continue to do take it day by day and moving forward. Oh & don’t thank me for sharing a personal story… I do it because it’s who I am and because I know it helps others who are in similar situations to know they are not alone. Especially when it comes to the GLBT community.

  4. Jaime Craven says:

    Tears over here. Beautiful!

  5. I just don’t know what to say…. 🙁 *hugs*
    jill recently posted..My Kind of Beach in Belitung, Indonesia

  6. What a poignant posting. May your tears go soon but your wonderful memories never fade

  7. Gabriela Tamez says:

    Wow, it hurts me just reading this because I had been wondering why you weren’t planning on returning to Cairo. I know how you feel because I’ve had to leave a love many times before. My parents made me leave my first love to go live in Mexico when I was only 14. I know that sounds silly but I was really in love. Then again they did it to me at 19 to move back to Houston. I am happy about it now, but it hurt like hell then and your post reminds me of that pain. I have been in love many times and I don’t regret any of them, once you find your purpose in life then you can find someone that’s shares those same desires, maybe he’s the one maybe he’s not, maybe your time with him is not finished. I like to believe our soul has a way of teaching us things when we are ready to learn them, there are people who you keep in your life that will teach you those things you are trying to learn. Just follow your instinct. I love being in love! And the pain that goes with it, it’s addictive that pain, for me. I’ve learned to enjoy it. Still haven’t found that person, which is why I’m still single. I won’t let family or friends pressure me into settling down because its, “for my own good”, or “it will make me feel better”, or “my time is passing”, “you’re not getting any younger”, my best friend said that last one! I know, it sucks. But she or they are not in my path, my choices. So I’ll keep moving and loving life and doing whatever the f*** I want to do that makes me happy!
    Jaime, I want you to know I support you in anything you do and I’m here for you if you ever need to talk or drink! ; ) Luv you!!! -Since the first time I saw you, I knew, eres de mi gente! De por alla! De “La Villa” o por alla! Remember I told you! Lol! Always be brave! Never let anyone tell you what your path should be! Because it may change everyday! Do whatever you want to do! <3 U!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Wow thank you so much Gaby for the amazing comment. Seriously I love everything you said. I’m sorry that you know what I am going through, cus fuck it’s tough. I know though like you said and well living the lives we want is all we can do. We aren’t to conform ourself to what anyone else wants for us or thinks we should do or have. As for my love for him it’s still here in my heart and like you say… maybe our time together is not done, but for now it’s just not right. All I can do is take life like everyone else here one day at a time and make the most of it. Who knows what the future holds for us.

  8. ;( really don’t know what to say… of course im sorry for you, but the pain won’t go away because we are all sorry. I would say to smile because at least something wonderful happened to you, but honestly…i’m living a similar situation at the moment and everyone keep saying that and it doesn’t help much.
    What i feel is that just with time, enough time, you can move forward and the pain will eventually turn in a sweet memory. Of course i’m wishing for you two a different ending, but i’m sure that if you both took this decision there must be a good reason… big hugs and be strong as usual! xoxo
    kle recently posted..Why i decided to travel Solo for a while

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Kle, I know people words wont make the pain go away, but it’s nice to hear that I am not alone or hear words of encouragement from others. Right now it’s still all so fresh and it hurts alot and well I have to continue moving forward. I laugh at you wishing for a different ending for us… seriously because I want that too, but know it’s easier said than one with the desire we both have in life. Travel on and sorry that you are in a similar situation as me. Stay strong, we’ll get through it.

  9. I’m totally not reading this at work and holding in tears…

    I can empathize and ohmygosh is it an intense return home with the number of different types of goodbyes you’re saying. I’ve been thinking about you for months as I’ve read about the end of this particular chapter looming on the horizon and revisiting what I experienced. While I can never fully understand how you feel, you know that several of us have experienced something similar and can relate if you need us.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Heather, sorry for making you cry again. I always seem to do that to people. Thanks for the beautiful comment and it’s good to know I know people who have gone through the trip home after so long on the road. It ain’t easy and most people just don’t understand. Thanks for the support and I so hope our paths cross very soon. Your the one blogger I just can’t wait to meet in person. Love ya and keep enjoying life.

  10. It must have been very difficult for you to write this but at the same time sharing it with all of us will hopefully help you to get some kind of closure and in time to move on. All the best and a big virtual hug!
    Davide recently posted..Eastbourne and Beachy Head

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yes Davide it was very hard to write, but it’s a post I knew I had to write to just get it out there and well close a chapter of my life. I have been very open about it and well just don’t think it would have been right for me to just ignore it all now that it’s gone wrong. Thanks for the virtual hug and I’m sending one back. ;0

  11. I understand totally where you’re coming from and I really feel for you. While I’ve never fallen in love with someone I’ve met while traveling or living in another country, I have loved and had my heart broken. It heals but it seems to take forever. It’s great that you two found such a great match in each other and that you had the time you did together. It’s also great that you were able to break up mutually rather than one person hurting the other. I wish you all the best as you move forward with your life. You will find another love!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yes Sabina a broken heart sure does take forever to heal and well I’m in no rush. As much as it hurts it’s a pain in a way I love because it reminds me that I did love with all my heart and it just wasn’t meant to be. At least not right now. Thanks for all the kind words and hope all is well on your travels. So happy we got to meet up in Cairo again. I hope you are practicing your ASHOUK!!!

  12. Awww… I just want to give you a hug right now *hugs*. No regrets, at least the wonderful thing happened 🙂 I know that one day, you’ll visit Cairo again or he will visit you there 🙂 Live and Love <3
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..JEST Camp Subic Adventure – Surpassing an Obstacle Course

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I got the hug & am sending one back at ya. I have no regrets in life and am happy for all the amazing moments we shared together they are some of the most amazing moments of my life. One day I will visit Cairo again and well maybe then it will be the right time for us or who knows. Ah love… such a strange thing.

  13. What a moving post! Hold on to the memories though, they’re priceless, and nobody can take them from you.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Simon I will do just that and hold on to the memories for sure because they are priceless and mine till the day I die.

  14. You know I’m sending you big hugs from the other side of the pond. I hate that things didn’t work out with you two, but you will get through this. It’ll take some time, but you’ll start to heal and hopefully only the good memories will remain while the pain fades away. I’m always here to listen if you wanna email or skype.
    Ali recently posted..Introducing Beyond Vacation

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks ALi, I hate that things didn’t work out too. I know everything happens for a reason and well I’m taking it day by day and know I will heal soon. Thanks again for always being there for me even from the other side of the world. I love you tons and am so grateful of our friendship.

  15. i am so sorry to hear about this Jaime… but I’m sure that despite what happened, both of you had a great time together (and a lot of memorable moments together too)…
    flipnomad recently posted..The Long, Winding and Rough Road

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Flip so much & yes oh we had such a great time together I will keep the great memories with me for the rest of my life.

  16. Wow, what a touching and heart-breaking post. 🙁

    This actually reminds me of someone I met while abroad, who opened my heart to love. I don’t speak of him and now, I don’t think of him that often, but in some ways, he’s always there.

    I guess I’m writing this to you from the OTHER side of something like this, but I knew when I said good-bye to him, it was closing the door. It was agony, in a sense, but I was also thankful because he showed me what was possible.

    Now, I’m with someone who’s even better, and that seems impossible to imagine. Circumstances didn’t work for that other love — the first to open my heart in that way, to love me when I felt my most unloveable, to love me when I didn’t even love myself.

    Endings are hard, but they make way for new beginnings. Maybe, just maybe, this guy was the one who is in your life to prepare you for the one who will stay. It will take time to heal, but have hope that you can love deeply — even more deeply — again. 🙂 <3
    Erika recently posted..Enjoying Solitude

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Erika, wow it’s interesting to hear from someone on the OTHER side of the story. I’m so happy to know you did end up finding someone else and that they are even better. It’s something I keep thinking about and wondering just how it can ever happen. How can someone else give me more than what I had with him? When I was with him it was magical and now even as more time passes I think about him and question my decision. In the end though you are right endings are hard but they make way for new beginnings. So cheers to new beginnings and the unknown that is ahead of me.

  17. Jaime, I’ve had one of these. Same thing: 2 months living together in Melbourne and my heart still aches over it. I’ve been back on the road traveling for a month now but I miss talking every day, knowing someone else has your heart in mind and is thinking of you. I don’t talk to him now because it hurts too much, but sometimes I wish we did. Travel is a butch that way; it’s a lot of beautiful hellos but the most painful goodbyes ever. Glad I’m not alone but sorry you’re going through it too.
    Kristin Addis recently posted..Get a Set of Boobs in Phuket: The Reality of Cosmetic Tourism

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I’m so sorry Kristin that you know how this feels. It’s a pain so hard to explain and what is worst it ends not because you fall out of love but because of circumstances and to me that is the worst. I know after I left him to go to SEA I didn’t think I was going abck, but did for 2 more months. Now we broke up I am home, but we still talk every day… like literally every day and I miss him more than I ever imagined. I don’t know what I am going to do. I know my dream is to see the world and I wanna do that, but at what point do I put love on top? We’re here together. Thanks for the comment. Hope you are feeling better too.

      • I often think the same thing – at what point will I have to prioritize love over seeing the world? I wish I had the answers, but I know that for now, I’m just not ready. The hardest part for me is/was realizing when it was just time to let go.

        • Jaime Davila says:

          It’s hard to be in this position Kristin. I mean in a way it always makes me think I am so selfish, but in the end we have to do what makes us happy? He makes me so happy too and well that is where I become a mess.

  18. I just came to your blog, started reading your travels, and ended up in reading your love. It is really a touching story. I can feel your pain. Hope you will feel better. Take care of yourself, and keep exploring.
    Kathiravelu Pradeeban recently posted..Spring is here..

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thank you so much KP for coming to my blog & leaving a comment. I’m doing better now even though some days it’s still hard. I will keep exploring for sure.

  19. Despite the goodbye, you were blessed with an amazing experience that will shape your future in a positive way.

  20. ok, i’m officially a masochist, as i couldn’t help but reading this post again. In tears. Awaiting for the day i’ll write my own goodbye post to a very special person. But Jaime, we have been lucky as well, we found something very special during our travels: we found our hearts again. And nobody can’t take this away from us. We have lived, and loved and being happy. That’s what life is all about after all. Taking the risk to suffer like hell but living the moment as that’s all that counts.Big hugs xoxo
    kle recently posted..PHOTOGRAPHY DAY: Why you should visit Indonesia in 15 Pictures

  21. Oh god, I know this all too well. While it wasn’t what you had, it was with someone I cared very deeply for, someone who made my experience here so beautiful and amazing. I just had to say goodbye to someone I thought would be in my life a lot longer than, in fact, was the case. I feel sad, lonely, empty, like a huge part of my life just up and disappeared without even a proper “goodbye.” … Sadly, it is one of the worst parts of being mobile, of living on the road, of meeting others who have the same, temporary lives as ours. The one thing I can say to you is this: if it is meant to be, it will happen. Don’t give up just because you aren’t in the same room anymore. Things change in the blink of an eye.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Well we have been emailing so I will let this comment be. We both know it’s the worst, but deal with it. It’s part of life on the road.

  22. I am sorry for that end, i read all the story and i cried too at the end
    by the way i am Egyptian and i am living in Germany with my husband, we stayed also 2 years between Egypt and Germany only for holidays and finally we decided to get married,
    I like what you had written , it moved my feelings

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Mohamed,

      It’s okay I am still dealing with this relationship even today. We still talk every day and wish we could make it work, but know it’s going to be nearly impossible so may just have to move on. I am happy you and your husband made it and are living happy together. Glad you enjoyed my story… wish it had a happy ending but for now it doesnt.


      • Camilla Bender says:

        No, you must be together!! This pain you are both in is horrible!!! If you want to travel
        take him with you!! Its hard I know but you can make it work!!
        You must make it work cause you both love eachother too much to let it go.
        Take him with you!!!!!!

        • Jaime Davila says:

          Camilla, you just brought so much joy to my heart. Your comment made me smile. I wish it was that simple, but it’s a million things and for now we are apart. I still don’t know why or if I will be returning to Egypt. My heart still aches for him and I miss him so much and the pain we are both feeling is tough.

  23. Ben Mallinson says:

    Hi Jaime. I just stumbled across this quite randomly. This is a beautiful story, yes heartbreaking, but above all beautiful! I live in Australia. I too spent some time in Egypt and can sooooooo relate to the love you feel for this special place. I didn’t fall for someone to the same extent you did but did have a special flame in Alexandria, which touched me deeply. Somehow your story (although different to mine)… I could imagine me writing it! Thanks. It was touching. X

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Ben, I’m happy you stumbled across my blog. Crazy that you can relate to it and that it too happened in Egypt. Egypt is a magical country filled with magical people that no matter the extent of the relationship they leave a mark on you for ever.

  24. I also randomly stumbled across your blog.

    Life is cruel huh? Hopefully you can sort something out in the future Jamie. Think positive and maybe good things will happen!


  25. I also randomly stumbled across your blog.

    Life is cruel huh? Hopefully you can sort something out in the future Jaime. Think positive and maybe good things will happen!


    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi James, glad you stumbled across my blog. Oh yes life can be cruel, but I’m a huge believer in everything happening for a reason! Who knows what is next for me… like yes I have plans but who knows what will happen.

  26. woooow! SO NICE POST Jaime!! I am so sad to read it…but also u must feel lucky …they mentioned on the comments above is better to lose love than to never feel it !!

    I already comment on another post, I will be travelling around southamerica from june on ! I will be doing it with my girfriend, the both of us would love to meet you!


  27. I had tears in my eyes reading this post. I really hope you see him again! Love stories like this do not happen in every life! I keep my fingers crossed that this is not the end of the story!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I am sorry this made you get tears Aleksei… I hope for the same things. I really do, but who knows what will happen between now and I finally return back to Cairo. Wish it was easier, but it’s just not.

  28. I just came across this post at the reference of a fellow travel blogger. As a gay guy traveling in conservative countries in Asia, I can totally relate to this. I was crying by the end because I’ve been through this very recently. You’re definitely a new inspiration for me.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      OMG BEN… I AM SORRY I MADE YOU CRY & even more sorry you experienced this too. It’s not easy when you experience something like this. It’s almost been 3 years and I still think of him every day and miss him tons. Sadly we stopped talking because that is what he wants and because it’s just not easy. The reality of it is he can’t leave Egypt and I don’t plan on going back yet. So yeah… just better to not talk. For now I’m gonna do this and I plan on going back when I’m ready. I wanna go back when I know if I do and I happened to spend the rest of my life there I can and will be happy. I know that sounds crazy, but I don’t ever want to recent him for stopping my travels. He’s never asked me to stop and know he never will… I just hope when I do go back it’s not too late. Yeah that’s my biggest fear, but will deal with it when the time comes. Anyway now I am just talking… sorry hadn’t read this post in so long and brought back everything and the thoughts I have running through my mind just about every day. It is what it is and it will be what it will be when the time comes.

  29. This post has made me so sad. Being in love is not simple. It needs to be the right time and to have a future you do need to have the same goals and dreams. I know this feeling oh so well!
    I hope today is a happy day for you and I hope each day brings you more clarity that your decision was the correct one and that you know the future holds amazing things for you. Adventure awaits!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I’m sorry this made you sad Sally, but yeah it’s so not simple being in love. For now I am letting things be and I hope to go back soon and see how things are then and see what happens. Not sure what the future holds but I’d love for it to be with him. I still love him a lot and haven’t lost hope.

  30. Alejandra Schenone says:

    Me hiciste poner muy tristee!!! Yo se que este no fue el final de la historia!!! De hecho creo que recién ha comenzado!!!! Me encantó poder haberla escuchado de tu boca, amo las historias de amor y más si son contadas por su protagonista. Te quiero y extraño!!!!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Ale…. wow tu comentario me hizo llorar. Gracias por darme la illusion que recien ha comenzado. Ojala que asi sea. Te quiero mucho tambien y extrano tambien!!! Beso.

  31. Oh loving an Egyptian man is complicated. I’m in Dubai in love with an Egyptian man and I sympathize with your ‘circumstances’. Sometimes I have self-doubts and I ask myself “Is this really it” but I do love him and will continue to be in this unique relationship.

  32. This was so incredibly touching Jaime! I too spent time abroad, traveling around New Zealand and Australia for 18 months. I met a guy, who I worked with in New Zealand, and your post really hit home for me. I felt such a connection with this person whom I hardly knew and yet felt so close to. I realized today that I actually have a ton of love for him still (in a friend sort of way). We used to talk but it just became so painful for me that I had to stop all communication. I also believe that things happen for a reason and if it’s meant to be than we’ll meet again. Just wasn’t the right time at the moment. But I do find myself replaying the goodbye over and over. So many memories and so many great people who I met along the way. But it’s only a certain few who stay with you. I’d love it if you checked out my travel blog as well (if you have the time). Here’s a couple links with the posts about this person in particular:

    I’m so glad I found your blog and I hope you get your second chance in the future! Wishing you all the best xoxo

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Maryann, breaks my heart to hear that you can relate to this. This one of the toughest things I have done in my life. Lucky for me I am going back very soon to see how it plays out. For better or for worse, I need to know so I can move on with my life with him or without him. I know that’s harsh, but I must for peace of mind. It’s hard to fall in love on the road, because of all the obstacles you will have to over come… and so many things out of your control. But yes the memories in the end are worth it all.

  33. I remember coming across this post and being touched by it. You’re a very good writer. So honest and candid. Too bad you’ve come to the end of your travels and stopped blogging. Best of luck to you on the next phase of your journey.
    JB & Renee recently posted..Bohol Bee Farm: Where to Eat in Panglao, Bohol, the Philippines

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