I LOVE hearing from you guys and your stories of going from lost to wanderlust. Today’s recruit to the Real Life Lonely Hearts Travel Club, James shares his inspiring tale that sees him swapping engagement rings for sports cars (!!) before jetting off to tick solo adventurer from his list. This is another awesome person who realises that being dumped doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, in fact in can just be the beginning. Over to James:
I’d been with my girlfriend for 5 years when we picked up the keys to our own flat. I thought it was the beginning of something really special. I spent the next 9 months saving and working as hard as I could so I could get my bonus at work and buy an engagement ring, this was all in-between 2 bone marrow donations.
However, two days before our 6 year anniversary my world came crashing down as she told me it was over. I remember the day like it was yesterday. My heart broke into a million pieces that night and I didn’t know how it was ever going to get better. Christmas was the hardest with everyone around me being happy and celebrating. I just felt very very lonely, all I could do was think about what I’d lost.
However, during that awkward time between Christmas and New Year I knew I had to sort myself out – no more getting upset. Time to believe in myself, be happy with my life and move on. I was not happy in my job, even though I hit my target and got my bonus there was no thought of an engagement ring so I bought a sports car instead!
I had always wanted to travel, I went to Australia in 2010 and loved it. It wasn’t until I got stuck in Malaysia on the way home because of snow in London that I decided one day I was going to return to Asia.
Seven months after the breakup I sold my half of my flat and two hours after that I had a ticket to Australia via Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Bali and New Zealand! Time to think of myself for once. Time to make myself happy.
I arrived in Hanoi not really knowing what to expect, even crossing the road was a challenge! My first trip to Ha Long Bay was incredible, I have never been somewhere so beautiful. I then headed south through Vietnam, into Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.
I’ve learnt so much about myself and also the different parts of the world. I’ve been to the Killing Fields in Cambodia learning about the Pol Pot regime, visited Angkor Wat, let my hair down at a half moon party and also spent time in a Cambodian hospital which was interesting to say the least. In Chiang Mai I spent 2 days feeding and bathing elephants along with meeting 5 awesome people. That night I went to bed with a huge smile on my face. The best part of travelling is the new friends you make. I will take a lot from this trip but having friends all over the world will be the highlight!
This evening in Malaysia I sat down for dinner on my own next to a river with music playing, I then walked along and realised just how very happy I am with my life, being on my own and what my future holds! I don’t know if this is because I’ve thought about it or not but I don’t care, I feel the happiest I’ve ever been this evening.
South East Asia will have a special place in my heart, the places I have seen and the people I have met have put it back together! One more thing, you are an inspiration and thank you. It wasn’t until my mum showed me your article in the paper that I realised this was all possible.
Do YOU have an inspiring story to share? Would you like to join the Real Life Lonely Hearts Travel Club to help others who may need that kick up the bum to see that when life gives you lemons then go travelling? If so send me a message using any of the links below or fill in this form!