>> 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. <<
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…
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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!
What 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.
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)!
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