Travelling is one of the greatest experiences in the world: the colours, smells, touch and sound of foreign lands is thrilling and invigorating, socialising with the locals is curious and exciting and the memories are unforgettable.
Last week I had to go through something that I suppose was inevitable in Ireland's current climate: I had to say goodbye to my best friend as she set off to find work abroad.
Many of my friends, old school/ college friends, neighbours and acquaintances have had to emigrate to find work, but up until this week my close circle of friends had stayed intact.
As she excitedly spoke about her travel plans, where she would live, who she knows living close by and the popular attractions in their new world, the rest of us that must stay behind could only smile through our tears.
She was made redundant from her job late last year, one of the hardest workers I know she threw herself into applying for jobs, going on interviews and doing everything she could to find a job, but it was not to be. After spending time in Australia a few years ago and knowing a lot of people over there it became the best option and really only option for her.
As the months wore on, she became more excited about leaving and more bitter about her own country,in the end she was only too happy to wave goodbye to this Emerald Isle.
Although it will never be the same again, we will not see her (aside from on skype, facebook photos ...) , know her feelings, opinions and hear her laughter regularly, we know she really wanted to go.
How difficult must it be to wave goodbye to someone who really doesn't want to go?
How heartbreaking to lose the grasp of a friend, a sibling, a cousin ... who would do anything to stay here but can't?
A lot of people can answer those questions because according to the news it is happening every week.
During the boom years many of us left to travel the world and experience different cultures, now that prospect is being forced upon us, like it or not.
We can only hope that these bright young sparks will live, learn and love their new homes and in a few years bring their enthusiasm and talent back to this recovering island.
Until that time we must calculate the time difference of 10 or 12 hours to try and talk and see the people we love in foreign lands all over the world.
Travel can be exciting, but it can also be very sad.