There’s nothing in the world quite like that moment when you truly realise in your heart that your relationship is seconds away from ending. Almost everybody experiences heartbreak at some point in their lives and that overwhelming ache of misery, regret and sadness can overtake everything, making the foreseeable future look bleak.
This is a story of hope but at the time, it didn’t seem like I would ever feel better. Upon calling one of my best friends, she promised me that I would feel a thousand times better in one month’s time. I told her that there was no way I would be okay for a very long time.
I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.
Travel was always something I’ve loved but when sparks of ideas were allowed to grow, they turned into fully formed plans with booking confirmations and a significantly lighter bank account within two weeks. I mean, the fact I found myself suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed within the same week as my break up kind of helped me to take the plunge. Suddenly, when you have nothing to distract you and nothing to hold you back, the thing that you truly want to do has space to come to the forefront and that’s definitely what happened with me and travelling.
Read the post: Booking my Heartbreak Holiday
There’s a kind of comfort that comes with experiencing something completely new. You can feel like a completely different person after heartbreak but when you’re immersed in a different culture, in a strange place, with people you’ve never met before, everything is new. And suddenly, it feels exciting rather than terrifying. Your mind is so overtaken with all this newness that the amount of room left for your pain gets smaller and smaller.
You might not be ready. There’s nothing worse than arriving alone in a foreign country and realising that your problems don’t just disappear. So take it slow. I booked a group tour to take some of the pressure off. The best thing about this for me was being surrounded by total strangers, all with stories of their own. You’ll learn about new cultures, pick up words you’ve never heard and learn to truly love these people in that short space of time you’re together.
Maybe you’ll have a holiday fling. Maybe you’ll have a few. Maybe you won’t want to have another romance for a long time. Either way, the realisation that there are other people out there who like you and can love you is something that really helps in the healing process.
Sure, travelling could just be a distraction. You could fly the nest and never look back. You could come home and feel a million times worse. Or you could come home and apply what you’ve learned and experienced to change your entire life.
After two days away, I remember thinking “I never want to come home”. Two days is all it took for me. In a mere three weeks, I was changed, free and happy. Truly happy. Four months on, I’m back in a daily routine at home but approaching life in a completely different way.
Travelling forces you to completely learn about yourself, separately from anybody else. Everything is on your terms. Your eyes are opened to just how big the world is and just how small your comfort zone is.
Travelling gives you back that confidence in yourself that you’ve likely lost from your break up — particularly if you go at it alone. You handle situations that are thrown at you and learn that you can cope with whatever life gives you. My self esteem and confidence were on the floor and writing this now, I can recognise just how small I was making myself by letting myself feel that way.
Travelling not only healed my broken heart but also made me fall in love all over again.
I fell in love with the people I’ve met along the way who have become some of my best friends. I fell in love with so many different countries and cities. I fell in love with feeling alive. I fell in love with life again.
So book that plane ticket or take that train somewhere you’ve never been before. Throw yourself outside your comfort zone and make the things you’ve always wanted come true, whatever it takes. Travel to heal a broken heart. Amazing things will happen, I promise.