While backpacking, I’ve gotten pretty used to saying “goodbye” to fellow travellers and new friends. Most of the time “goodbye” seems appropriate. I don’t expect to see them again, and while good times were had and a short friendship was formed, it’s not expected to continue. There are many expressions to use when parting company, but “goodbye” is in many ways the harshest. It gives no hint of a future. No possibility of a reunion. “Goodbye” is final.
I suppose that’s the main reason I almost never use it. I’ve met travelling friends again and again too many times, and there are just too many better alternatives when I’m searching for something to say. It would be better to say that I’ve gotten used to saying “take care”, “see you later”, or “have a great trip”. Most of the time it’s really easy. Being back on the road alone is no big deal to me, but that doesn’t mean that every split is easy.