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Traveling after a break-up

Traveling after a Break-up: The Start of your Life?

>> 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. <<

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Traveling after a Break-up: the Start of your Life?

Do you know that feeling of being hurt, desperate and dauntingly lost after someone broke up with you? Being hopelessly devoted to someone we love is not an unusual habit. You lost the love of your life. This sort of person you were possibly going to marry, have kids and build a house with and live happily ever after. The person who knows you best. You will never ever going to be happy again. Your life is empty. Senseless. You still have hope though that one day you’ll be getting back together. And then there is that other person. All of the sudden. And you hear about them planning kids and marriage. Inconceivability. And then you get to the point where you realize that something has to happen…

Traveling after a break-up // Break up // Meet Sam from Global Footprints who decided to travel to heal a devastating break-up. She set off to travel to Australia - click on the Pin to learn more about her road to recovery.

So here it was. I ended up in a hospital facing psychological issues. What to do? The “Carpe Diem” tattoo I got at this time helped reminding me to enjoy every day of my life, no matter what. Yet something had to happen. I had to leave. I needed an adventure, a challenge. Traveling after a break up – was that the solution? I never travelled on my own. But what did I have to loose now that my entire life was being destroyed? It was worth trying wasn’t it?

The key to every door lies within you.

traveling after a break-up

I worked over the summer, I sold my car – and off I was! Australia it should be. My parents dropped me off at the airport. Gosh, how nervous I was. I didn’t realize I was actually leaving home for a year. The place where I wanted to spend the rest of my life living happily ever after. With him. I didn’t cry though. I was literally somewhere between doubting reality and huge excitement. What was I doing here?

Waving my parents goodbye, alone I was. Thanks to my mum talking to strangers at the airport I had someone to talk to at least. That felt good. Although not traveling after a break up, there was someone in a very similar situation I was: Traveling alone. But right now I wasn’t alone. What a good feeling. All my worries were gone for that moment. Eventually we stopped talking. Worries were back. Where was he? What was he doing? And why couldn’t I just be with him? Alone in the airplane between strangers. Off to a far far away country I didn’t know much about. Like almost nothing.

traveling after a break-up

My mum gifted me with a diary at the airport with only one quote by Hermann Hesse:

“To every beginning there is magic, that protects us and that helps us to live!”
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I started writing, overwhelmed by mixed feelings. What was I doing here?! Why am I in this airplane all alone? Was I just running away? Is that all senseless? Would I find happiness? Friends? And would I ever get over him? I had no idea. No plans. I was just there in that very moment wondering why I didn’t just find a job back home and had stayed in an easy routine life. I tell you why: I would have missed the actual hour of the birth of my own life! Although I couldn’t believe it at this time, somewhere deep inside my subconscious I knew that.

traveling after a break-up

A New Start

Every day there are new people you could meet. Inspiring stories from other lives to be heard. New adventures to be experienced. You learn about other cultures. You see the good and the bad. You see people living a very happy life with very little they have. And finally you realise that life isn’t so bad after all…!

I have been traveling ever since that day back in 2011. Seriously infected by the travel bug. Of course I was still thinking a lot about him. And yes I cried New Year’s Eve in Sydney because I missed him so much and wished he was there to hold me in his arms. But then you close your eyes for a second, breathe, open them and perceive the amazing environment around you. You realize how lucky you are being there at that place at that very moment. And how many wonderful people from all over the world surround you. 

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Here I was, in a new world, a new life. Loneliness? Non-existent! I had no idea how many people like me were out there in this world and how many different stories I was about to hear! How many wonderful human beings would inspire me much more than he could have ever done. One morning you wake up and realize that you haven’t thought of him in at least a week! And all of the sudden that person who used to know you best doesn’t know you anymore at all.

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traveling after a break-up

From now on, life just took its course. There didn’t need to be a plan. I didn’t have to worry. I wasn’t the only one being afraid of what was awaiting me. I wasn’t the only one searching for friends and having a good time, a good life.

Every time I visit home and see his life, I am overwhelmed with happiness about mine. About the fact, that I’m not with him. About the way I learned to love and live my life to the fullest. And about the presence of people in my life who fit much better into my life than he ever did! Traveling leads you into discovering yourself and teaches you to free yourself from people who permeate your life with negativity.

So in the end I can say with certainty, breaking up with that “I am going to marry, have kids, build a house and stay in that small boring village I grew up in, forever”- guy was the best thing that could have possibly happened in my life! Traveling after a break-up? It was the stepping stone into the world! Into a better life!

A Life full of Serendipity!

traveling after a break-up

 

heart-blueWhat about you? Have you travelled to heal from a break-up? How has it helped you? I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.

About Sam

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Sam from Global Footprints was born and raised just outside the beautiful city of Cologne in good old Germany – she studied International Tourism Management and currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been heavily bitten by the travel bug in 2011 and infected ever since. She hopes to inspire people with her stories just as she was – she still continues to be inspired by so many wonderful human beings around the world (not the ones speaking the same language, but the ones sharing the same feeling understand each other)!

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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Traveling after a break-up // Break up // Meet Sam from Global Footprints who decided to travel to heal a devastating break-up. She set off to travel to Australia - click on the Pin to learn more about her road to recovery. (Image via Flickr CC - Ioan Sameli)

Image via Flickr CC by Ioan Sameli

Traveling after a break-up // Break up // Meet Sam from Global Footprints who decided to travel to heal a devastating break-up. She set off to travel to Australia - click on the Pin to learn more about her road to recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38 Comments

  • female travel blogger

    22.03.2016 at 14:12 Reply

    A breakup was actually why I started traveling (outside of work.) I had been seeing a guy for a while, he dumped me, which was bad, but then I found out he had been cheating on me for almost a year. I did some research and found that Thailand was the safest place for a solo female traveler and booked my ticket. I was scared shitless about 30-40% of the time, but loved every min of it. I made a ton of great friends, had wonderful experiences, and wouldn’t have traded it for the world. I learned how to turn that bad energy into good energy which is an important life skill to have!
    female travel blogger recently posted…Tips for Getting Sleep While TravelingMy Profile

    • Serendipity Tess

      22.03.2016 at 14:32 Reply

      Hey Sarah, your story is so inspiring – i honestly think everybody who goes through a break-up, and has the possibility, should just pack their things and go and see what happens. A change of scenery has a major impact already…and if you travel alone you are never really ‘alone’…as you said, you meet people and soon your ex is soon forgotten 🙂

    • Sam

      02.04.2016 at 06:19 Reply

      Hi Sarah,
      I’m so happy to hear that travelling helped you just as much as it helped me. There is so many inspiring people out there that you soon start to wonder why you wasted your time with someone like that. And getting to the point where you get rid of your negativity is such a great moment isn’t it ? 🙂

  • Anna Faustino

    26.03.2016 at 07:57 Reply

    Good for you! Very heartfelt post. I’m sure the experience made you stronger, better, and more confident. Love the things travel can bring out in a person!
    Anna Faustino recently posted…Fun Things to do in Quito, EcuadorMy Profile

  • Tonya

    26.03.2016 at 08:54 Reply

    As a parent, and someone who also left town after a breakup, it sounds as if your mom was supportive and the journal and talking to strangers was the boost you needed to be on your way!

  • Bernard Tan

    26.03.2016 at 10:23 Reply

    Your story is encouraging! I love to travel alone, and found so much more joy travelling alone!

  • Bharat & Supriya

    26.03.2016 at 10:26 Reply

    Everyone says travelling changes a person but that’s probably more reflective in those who travel during a rough patch. We’ve travelled together during a rough phase too and can relate to this – it’s difficult and events and people tend to haunt your mind. Btw, totally love the quote your mom shared – very thoughtful!

  • Sarah Ebner

    26.03.2016 at 11:17 Reply

    This is such a good read, and really quite inspirational. Love that Sam went for it, despite the panics, the stress, the emotions, and that it has worked out so well. Am sure travelling and new adventures and experiences can be only a good thing!

  • chrysoula

    26.03.2016 at 11:35 Reply

    A very inspiring story! I did travel after a broke up of mine not for a year as you did but for a week! I went to Spain and I did have a great time. Traveling always broaden your horizons and helps you heal in a way
    chrysoula recently posted…Things to do & see in Pieria GreeceMy Profile

  • Kevin Osman

    26.03.2016 at 15:15 Reply

    This is an inspiring story that so many people could benefit from hearing. I. Love how you put your vulnerability out there for others to see and, consequently, make yourself stronger for it. And I fully agree with the healing power of travel.

    • Sam

      02.04.2016 at 08:33 Reply

      Hi Kevin,
      Thank you so much for your words! I recently received a message from someone whom I talked to about my experiences and who subsequently started traveling due to that. It makes me incredibly happy if I can inspire people this way. Writing those stories gets me back in time for a little moment and then gives me so much power for the future seeing how I had changed my life to the good so far.
      Sam recently posted…Cultural shock South Africa? Lekker braai, robots & a little howzit.My Profile

  • Katja

    26.03.2016 at 18:13 Reply

    I love that your mum knew you so well to gift you the diary with that fantastic quote! Travel can be a wonderful healer; new places, new people, new experiences – as you said, a new start!

    • Sam

      02.04.2016 at 08:37 Reply

      Hey Katja,
      Funny thing is that at the time I had no idea how to interpret this quote. Although my mum never traveled alone, she seemed to knew that this was the right step for me. And it keeps being that way: every new travel, every new country and every new person you meet contains some kind of magic!
      Sam recently posted…Cultural shock South Africa? Lekker braai, robots & a little howzit.My Profile

  • Megan

    26.03.2016 at 19:01 Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I just went through a breakup this past month. Basically, it sucks but one thing it has brought is not having to worry about anyone else’s schedule. So I booked a flight to Bali! I’m only going for two weeks but I still thrilled and nervous. It will be my longest solo trip yet and I’m really looking forward to it.

    • Sam

      02.04.2016 at 08:43 Reply

      Hey Megan,
      Sorry to hear from your break up! I’ve been to Bali as well and I can guarantee: you won’t be alone! You’ll enjoy the island and the people around you I’ve no doubts about that. And hey maybe one day you can say as well that this break up was the best thing that could have happened to you. You probably cannot imagine that yet, I couldn’t either after only a month being separated from him. There is so much beauty out there, so much is awaiting you! Have a lovely time in Bali, keep it up & safe travels <3
      Sam recently posted…Cultural shock South Africa? Lekker braai, robots & a little howzit.My Profile

  • Claire

    27.03.2016 at 02:58 Reply

    It was actually a break up that started my travel addiction. After a 5 year relationship ended I would dream of escaping the world and thought about taking a big trip to restart my life. I ended up taking a couple of short trips to prepare for solo travel and ended up catching the travel bug! This was 4 years ago now and in a few days I actually will be taking the big trip (to get over a different break up!)
    Great post. As you can imagine, I can relate! I love that I have travel to clear my mind and make me happy 🙂
    Claire recently posted…What I’ve Learned from 1 Year of BloggingMy Profile

    • Sam

      02.04.2016 at 08:50 Reply

      Hi Claire,
      I am currently getting over another break up as well- in Southern Africa. It really works every time. Although having ended a 4 year relationship I can say that I am having the best time of my life down here and I honestly wouldn’t have expected it to happen that way (although I knew it would be easier to get through the break up this definitely exceeded my expectations!) Happy to hear stories from likeminded people like you, thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
      Sam recently posted…Cultural shock South Africa? Lekker braai, robots & a little howzit.My Profile

  • Wandering Carol

    27.03.2016 at 18:17 Reply

    Travelling is good for many things, broken hearts included. I’m so glad you found happiness and freedom, and all the joys a nomadic life can bring.

  • Mags

    27.03.2016 at 19:42 Reply

    I haven’t traveled to heal a break up specifically, but I have found a lot of personal growth out of traveling alone. You learn to make friends quickly, but that it’s okay to be by yourself for a while too (that one was hard for me), and perhaps best of all you learn that there are other people out there just like you, that are just as scared and alone. Anyone who says you can’t run from your problems is full of it!

    • Sam

      02.04.2016 at 09:00 Reply

      Hi Maggie,
      I hear you, I also faced trouble in the beginning to enjoy time alone. I sticked to that German group I met at the very beginning at the airport quite a long time. Although I wanted to meet new and international people, I was just to scared. Looking back now is certainly a proof of how good traveling is for your development not only to get over a break up. And yes just as you say, as soon as you realize that we are basically all the same out there you will suddenly never feel alone again…
      Sam recently posted…Cultural shock South Africa? Lekker braai, robots & a little howzit.My Profile

  • Vicky and Buddy

    28.03.2016 at 18:42 Reply

    I can really relate to this. I went through a really bad break up a few years ago and ended up going to Bali for a couple of weeks. It was a healing experience, one that I will never forget.

  • Trisha Velarmino - P.S. I'm On My Way

    30.03.2016 at 19:31 Reply

    This happened to me in 2013. I moved halfway across the world for someone who I thought I am going to spend the rest of my life with and when it didn’t work out, I traveled his continent for 3 years! It worked out fine for me and in the end, I was all better!
    Trisha Velarmino – P.S. I’m On My Way recently posted…Traveling and not quitting your job: Dear sir, I am going away for 3 months but please don’t fire meMy Profile

    • Serendipity Tess

      31.03.2016 at 12:12 Reply

      Thank you Trisha for sharing your personal story here – break-ups are awful – and personally, for me, travel is always ALWAYS the answer.

    • Sam

      02.04.2016 at 09:09 Reply

      Hey Trisha,
      Wow it must be really hard to go through a break up when you moved that far for a person. That certainly was a big step for you! I am happy it worked out so well for you in the end! I met a person who experienced it quite similar, he moved to Australia for the ‘love of his life’ who then broke up with him pretty much as soon as he arrived. He ended up living happily ever after in Oz 🙂 wonderful to see how life goes.
      Thank you for sharing and safe travels <3
      Sam recently posted…Cultural shock South Africa? Lekker braai, robots & a little howzit.My Profile

  • Berlinesa

    18.10.2016 at 11:18 Reply

    Yes… there I go. Got dumped 2 weeks ago, feeling slowly better but cannot stop thinking about him… I am off to Germany next month… I always wanted to improve my German and I am pretty excited about it, going to Berlin 🙂

    • Serendipity Tess

      20.10.2016 at 12:13 Reply

      Hey lovely, sending you a lot of strength for this difficult time ahead. A break-up is one of the hardest things to go through and it usually takes about 4-6 months to get over someone, in my experience. I think travelling is always a good idea! Change of scenery, new people, new language – new life. And before you know it, you won’t be thinking about him any longer! Berlin is one of my favourite cities – you will love it without a doubt!

  • Miranda Ash

    27.10.2016 at 19:22 Reply

    We were headed for our one year anniversary trip to Seattle and he broke up with me last Sunday…after just reconnecting from our first breakup four weeks ago. My heart is a mess and I’ve decided to take the trip without him. He offered to still go and said we could have one last weekend together, but we are still broken up and nothing would change. I can’t do that and am going solo for the first time ever on a trip. I’m nervous and hoping I don’t stay in my hotel room crying the entire time! Your story is inspiring and I’m hoping I can take this weekend to start my road to healing.

    • Serendipity Tess

      11.11.2016 at 17:33 Reply

      Hey Miranda, sending you lots of strength lovely — if it were me, I would personally not go on a last trip with him — I’d use this time to work on myself and focus on healing. But travelling to a place where you were supposed to go together may not be the best idea either. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to cancel the trip altogether and head to a place you always wanted to go to. Have you thought of starting a new life altogether, just buying a one-way ticket and travel to a country / city you always wanted to travel to? I wish you lots of strength for the next months ahead. Everything will be fine in the end…being single is important – you get to know yourself in a way that you wouldn’t in a relationship and you can do whatever you want and when you want…this freedom and independence is priceless. Keep fighting! Soon you’ll be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Jordan

    21.09.2017 at 06:47 Reply

    I’ve just been broken up with and have booked a flight to New York for in a weeks time.

    I’m totally nervous, in a real pit of sadness over the breakup and unsure if it was the right decision to book the flights or not. That said this post fills me with a bit of confidence that hopefully I’ll be able to hold on to!

    • Serendipity Tess

      23.09.2017 at 18:36 Reply

      Absolutely yes! It was the right decision! I honestly think travelling is the best thing you can do after a break-up. Fill up your life with new experiences…meet new people…learn a new language…a new dance…whatever it is…replace old with new…

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