Moving? Say Goodbye to Your Community with a Farewell Tour


Last summer, I moved back to El Paso to help my mom raise my niece and nephew. It was tough to say goodbye to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, my home for almost 30 years. To soften the sting of leaving my friends, mentors, and coworkers, I devised a plan (I called it the Tour de Friends) to say goodbye in a special way. If you find yourself preparing for a move, I encourage you to consider having your own farewell tour using these steps.

Set Your Rules

When planning my Tour de Friends, I thought carefully about what was most important to me: spending time with and saying goodbye to people who meant a lot to me. I created two rules for this adventure to help me see as many people as possible in the 6-week timeframe before my move.

First, I required participants to decide what we did together. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy or expensive–I just wanted to spend time with friends and grab a good hug before saying goodbye. This rule helped my friends and me make concrete plans quickly, allowing me to squeeze in many “stops” on the tour.

» » » » » » » » » » » »  RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Guide to Moving to El Paso  « « « « « « « « « «

My other rule was participants had to give me permission to take a photo and share it on my Facebook page to commemorate our hangout. I knew that homesickness was inevitable, so I wanted a way to preserve these memories for the future and also to share my Tour de Friend adventure with others.

Tour de Friends

Some other rules you may want to consider when planning your own farewell tour:

  • Budget: Outing after outing can get pricey after a while. Consider setting a budget per outing or opting for free options instead.
  • Scheduling: I squeezed in so many outings in my last few weeks in Dallas. I wish I had spread them out more. Consider setting up a shareable calendar with open time slots for friends to sign up.

Make an Announcement

I used Facebook to announce my Tour de Friends so it would reach as many of my connections as possible. The post was an open invitation to my DFW friends to participate in my farewell tour, sharing the two rules and encouraging them to reach out quickly to get a date on my calendar. I was humbled and overjoyed with the response as well as all the well wishes for my upcoming move to El Paso.

For your own farewell tour, other social media platforms might work better if more of your friends use them. You could also consider posting on multiple platforms to reach a wider range of your connections. Just think of how many former coworkers you could involve if you also posted your Tour de Friends on LinkedIn!

Share the Memories

On my Facebook page, I have a photo album titled Tour de Friends. It contains pictures from the 30 stops on my farewell tour with some of the best people I know. My friends planned some amazing mini-adventures, everything from coffee shops to mini-golf, paddle boarding to popsicles, breakfast with book club, lunch with my Rotary club, a favorite things party, and so many other memorable hangouts. They were all so creative and fun, and each one left me oozing with gratitude for having had such a supportive community alongside me for so many years.

Tour de Friends

I was so moved by the outings I decided not just to share a photo but also a description of how I met each friend and what I loved most about them and our time together. The posts became a tribute to the way each person had touched my life, and it was great to see the friends of my friends commenting to say they loved these people, too!

» » » » » »  RELATED READ: Old Friends and Mom Jeans :: Why We Need Each Other  « « « « «

Photos and posts are great, but Reels and TikToks of your Tour de Friends could be really fun! If you have the time and skills to do so, consider commemorating your own farewell tour with video footage, too.

Adapting for Kids

If I were conducting a farewell tour for kids, I might encourage them to share handwritten cards or letters of gratitude with the people on their tour. I’d try to include the influential people in their lives, like teachers, coaches, pastors, scout leaders, neighbors, and anyone else who made up the village that it takes to raise children. I might opt for shorter and less expensive outings. Think fewer dinners, more ice cream at the park! I might also commemorate with printed photos in an album or scrapbook, rather than social media, for the kids to have easy access.


I cried at each outing (goodbyes are so tough for me!), but I would do it again in a heartbeat. The Tour de Friends reminded me of the importance of connection, community, and telling people what they mean to us while we still can. It created a sense of urgency for me to connect with friends, helping us to avoid those familiar “let’s get together soon” texts that never really come to fruition.

I can’t help but miss my Dallas life and friends some days. When the loneliness feels extra heavy, I only have to scroll through my #TourdeFriends posts to be reminded of all the special people I connected with and the memories we made together. The trip down memory lane helps to open my heart to the hope and possibility of building community with new friends in the Sun City.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


  1. What a great idea! I have a kiddo going to college soon. This would be a great way to celebrate. Love this article.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here