Why Traveling is Good for a (Bad) Break-Up
And, boy, it was bad. We’re talking staying in bed all day watching every season of F.R.I.E.N.D’s on Netflix, bad. Relying on pizza deliveries and pink wine for sustenance, bad. Leaving the house without showering for long periods of time, bad.
On my worst days, I would search the internet for failed proposal videos because it was the only thing that brought me joy. I consider myself quite an independent person, so when my live-in boyfriend of three years ended things, on top of the heartbreak, I was angry with myself for letting it destroy me as much as it did. It’s weird, you don’t realise just how much you depend on someone and how much you put their happiness before your own when planning for the future. In a rut, going from terrible job to terrible job, I had no idea what I wanted a do with my life and lacked all motivation.
When an opportunity dropped into my lap in the form of my best friend, I thought long and hard before accepting. This spontaneous individual decided to move back home with her parents – she offered me the loft in her childhood home, rent free – to save up for a three-month European adventure, an incredible opportunity. Once word spread about my potential expedition, my uncle kindly offered me his air miles in order to pay for the ticket, there was nothing holding me back at this point, yet I still almost turned it down.
I so was scared, scared that if I left, the man who broke my heart wouldn’t be able to find me if he changed his mind. Scared that it was irresponsible of me and I should be more career focused, and scared that I would fail entirely. I tossed and turned through the night but by morning I knew that this trip was exactly what I needed, it was a no-brainer. That same day I quit my job, told my housemates they needed to find someone to fill my room, and began packing.
Just taking that leap made me feel like a stronger person and the traveling hadn’t even begun. I felt lighter, happier, and ready to start the moving on process. When my plane left for Paris, I still had a while to go coming to terms with my break-up, but I was well on the road to recovery. Now, coming home after three months of not knowing exactly where I’ll sleep that night, I feel refreshed. I’ve stood under ancient temples like the Parthenon and sipped wine on the bridges in Venice. I’ve danced dressed as a banana in Piazza Venezia, on Halloween and have watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle at midnight.
As my guru Taylor Swift says, “You can have love all around you without being in love, and find romance in your everyday life without being in a romantic relationship.” Those were all places I wanted to visit with my ex, but instead I got to share those memories with a friend who has been there for me through everything, and I have no doubt will always be there for me. Which is better, don’t you think? Though I’m still working on myself and have the occasional bad day, every day is better than the last. I’ve learned to be okay on my own. If I can navigate the winding streets of Venice or fend off Italian men, I think I’m capable of anything.
I’ve been told you shouldn’t make drastic changes after a break up but I think that’s bad advice. In my opinion, it’s the ideal time to make a drastic change so quit your job and travel, apply for your dream career or dye your hair purple. Love could always be just around the corner so now is the time to get to know yourself and be exactly who you want to be.