Inspire Travel Words

How Travel Can Mend A Broken Heart

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Getting dumped is crap.

No, it’s more than crap. It’s heart shatteringly physically painful, overwhelming and all consuming. The rollercoaster of emotions you feel can alter in an instant, further messing with your already confused head.

People tell you it’s going to be ok, that you’ll get over it but at the time these are just meaningless words, clichés rolled out to fill the awkward silences. To really truly heal it is only down to YOU to make this happen. For some that means a fresh start, finding a new hobby to occupy their time or experience different things to what you had before. To use this as a springboard to do all the things you wanted to do, but maybe never got the chance with your ex.

For me, I used this as a time to go and travel. To get lost in a foreign exotic country hoping that I’d find myself again. Not the old self, not the girl that I was but a new, confident, takes no shit kinda girl. One that’s ready to find love again in the future, but on my terms. Travel did this to me.

And it can do it for you too.

You learn to trust others – A sketchy looking taxi guy can turn out to be generous and hilarious company, a restaurant recommended by locals that looks like an utter dive from the outside can turn out to be the best meal you’ve ever eaten and that woman you think is pestering you to buy something is actually trying to give you directions. When travelling, the kindness of strangers cannot be underestimated, not everyone is out to rip you off or hurt you.

You learn to make decisions – If you’re anything like me you’ll have probably (even unconsciously) relied on your other half for too long. Backpacking forces you to make your mind up, to choose your own direction and to make decisions on anything and everything. You soon realise there is no right or wrong answer, just what feels good for you (aka eating cake for breakfast because you can!).

You learn to grow in confidence – You can reinvent yourself when you’re in a place where nobody knows you and nobody can judge you, meaning that you can be whoever you want to be. Get an alter ego, change your hair, change your clothes – whatever it is to make yourself feel more confident. Also, because of the experiences you’ll be having every day and the interactions with locals and other backpackers, you’ll lie in bed at night amazed that you, yes you, did all that.

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You learn to be assertive – How could you not start to feel proud of yourself when you’re haggling in a Moroccan market, putting your foot down when you know the Bangkok tuk tuk driver is blatantly ripping you off or politely but firmly telling the man selling naff souvenirs to bugger off. You have to be bold, stick to your guns and not let others walk all over you just because you’re recently single.

You learn to flirt – You may not be in the slight bit interested in playing tonsil tennis with anyone ever again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some harmless flirting. To be surrounded by men and women similar to you who love getting out and seeing the world, not just the one they think they know from the TV or films, is really refreshing. Hey, a little confidence boost never hurt anyone did it!

You learn to see a new perspective on your own life – Being so far from home, out of your comfort zone and possibly on your own, means you’re forced to experience things completely alien to your normal daily routine. You see how other people live, people who survive on nothing at all but still smile and you can’t help but change as a person because of it. Travel puts your own issues and problems into perspective.

You learn to get on with it – When backpacking there’s little time to sit and wallow, not when there’s too much to see and do. Back home you’d probably be cross legged around a tub of Ben and Jerrys binging on Netflix series whilst stalking your ex and their new life on Facebook. Not here my friend, not when you’ve got temples to visit, foods to taste, mountains to climb, iconic sites to visit and new friends to hang out with.

But also, you learn to have time to think – If you’ve solo travelled after a breakup like I did then there will be times when you’re completely alone. Not often, but a few. This is the time to be working things out in your head, to shamelessly let yourself cry and think about what you want to do when you get home. It’s healthy to deal with these emotions rather than bottle them up, or risk losing the new friends you’ve made by going all wailing banshee on their ass.

Travel can help heal a broken heart. Although, I wouldn’t advise you to jump on the next plane moments after splitting up as if you go too early you may live to regret it. You need to be ready for the assault on ALL of your senses that you’re about to experience. However, you will know when the time is right and when that time comes you won’t look back.

{Eeek there’s just 1 week left to vote for NotWedorDead as ‘Best In Travel’ in the #cosmoblogawards. Please can you spare just 2 mins to click here, pop down your email address and copy my URL http://www.notwedordead.com & I’ll send you a virtual high five. Just for you.}

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