“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…”
This time last year, I had packed my bags and moved to the other side of the country, hoping to heal my broken heart along the way. I had just broken up with my ex-boyfriend, felt completely lost, and had no idea who I was anymore. So, did travel heal my broken heart?
Well, not right away.
IT CAN BE LONELY
The truth is, after my breakup, I was so terrified of being alone. I wasn’t excited or looking forward to getting to know myself on a deeper level. I was lonely and didn’t like the feeling one bit. Everything terrified me and all I could think of was how awful it would feel to be lonely.
“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT TRAVEL
Travel allows us to leave our daily routines behind and to experience things outside of our comfort zone. It gives us the chance to grow, to learn about ourselves, and to accept that loneliness is part of this greater experience. Travel does have the ability to help heal a broken heart, but only if you’re ready for what that truly means. There will be days where something reminds you of your ex and you feel the memories rushing back. Some days, you might question why you’re traveling at all and if there’s a point to all of this.
Many women decide to embark on a solo travel journey after experiencing heartbreak. Not all women who travel solo are heartbroken, but some of them inevitably are, and that’s okay.
When you feel the familiar feeling of loneliness creep up through your travels, know that it too will pass. Rather than seeking comfort from outside of yourself, seek it from within.
Explore a new city, meet new people, do something that scares you. If you feel uncomfortable or afraid, chances are you’re on the right path. Hike through the trails of Machu Picchu, surf the waves of Byron Bay, or wander through the cobble-stone streets of Spain. Whatever you do, do it with a passion. Do it for yourself.
YOU WILL COME BACK STRONGER
When I left my relationship and former life behind last year to travel, my plan was to stay single for a year, and I had almost succeeded with being single for 8 months. I got into a relationship after eight months, and today, I find myself single once again, but in a very different way.
I don’t feel broken or terrified that I am alone again like I would have a year ago. I’m looking forward to the moments I experience learning about myself because I’ve realized how rare and precious they are. I’m excited to be on my own again and to help myself become a better version of myself. I was not the person I wanted to be in my last relationship. I’m ready to explore new ways to change that through travel.
Thrilling freedom comes with being on your own and getting to know yourself. If you never honestly know who you are, how will you find a relationship that’s right for you? Today, I am ready to accept that being on my own is something I must do to better myself. I have felt the scary pangs of loneliness and know that I will feel them again. I’m okay with that; maybe that’s all I need to be right now.
Have you ever traveled to heal a broken heart? I’d love to hear about your story!