>> Over the years I noticed travelling had an immensely positive impact on me. Especially solo travel can push us out of our comfort zone and teach us many aspects of our personalities. It highlights our strengths and weaknesses and helps us develop tools to live a richer & more fulfilling life. I knew I wasn’t the only one who reaped the benefits of travelling for personal development.
This guest post series introduces you to others who have, in one way or another, travelled for personal development: be it to learn a new language, to mend a broken heart or to overcome an anxiety. Hopefully it will encourage you to travel more yourself and perhaps even help you to overcome barriers. <<
Travel to Heal a Broken Heart.
My heart broke when two of my friends passed away in tragic accidents when they were just 20 years old. I didn’t know how to process this, so I acted out in pain. I didn’t know what grief was but I knew what anger was. I wanted everyone around me to feel the same heartbreak I felt so I started to fight people and if they didn’t want to fight me I would say very hurtful things in hopes they would feel the pain I felt. I thought the world was punishing me and I didn’t understand why this had to happen to MY friends!
I thought if I screamed loud enough that they would come back. I was so angry because I didn’t understand why this had happened to good people, two of the nicest people I knew and they didn’t deserve this.
For one year I only had one emotion: anger. I continued thinking the world was unfair and trying to fight everyone until finally my friends and family couldn’t handle me anymore forcing me to see a grievance counselor. I didn’t know it at the time but this woman helped shape my traveling yoga life and I owe her a huge thanks. She suggested to me that I try healing grief through volunteer work.
I took this suggestion one step further because I knew for the year anniversary of one of the accidents I couldn’t be surrounded by familiarity, so I booked a ticket to Peru to volunteer at an orphanage. Within the first hour of arriving to the orphanage my heart felt lighter and I could smile, honestly, for the first time in a year! The children in the orphanage wanted someone to play with and hold their hands, they didn’t care if I was sad. By day three in Peru I started to make friends with other volunteers and fellow travelers. I heard other people’s stories about traveling the world and making a difference which was inspiring.
I started to think that life didn’t have to be a blur of anger and sadness. Here I started thinking about the future and where I could go next, I could feel myself getting excited about life and I didn’t have so much time to be angry!
I also didn’t have people coming up to me with that look of pity and attempting to say things to make me feel better. I was able to escape the questions and just like that, traveling became my escape.
What I have learned from all this is that saying good bye is hard but letting go is even harder. It really is a day-to-day, moment-to-moment journey. Everyday I have to make a conscious decision to not hold on to that anger. This is a huge reason why I started to incorporate yoga and meditation into my life. I knew that there was only so much volunteer work I could do, knowing that it wouldn’t address the pain inside of me and the lack of love I had for myself.
Yoga and meditation, along with volunteer work allow for positive energy to come into your life. It allows time and space for the anger and feelings from the past to slowly detach from your spirit and it re-opens your heart to the love that is inside of you.
What about you? Have you travelled to heal a broken heart or to go through the grieving process? I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.
Maggie is a travel agent turned digital nomad/ yogi living her dream of traveling throughout Mexico. She has learned a lot through the years of traveling and hopes to inspire others to do the same not just to learn more about cultures but also themselves. Maggie’s favorite country is Mexico because of the culture, people, landscape, and food. When she is not eating tacos al vapor she is taking SUP yoga classes in a lagoon. Maggie shares her travel and yoga journey on her Instagram @maggielangeness and Twenty Something Living Travel Blog.
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