Nature can be so calming. It’s especially nice to break away from the depressing cold of winter and walk in the sunshine of the desert.
Travelers leave a little piece of their hearts everywhere they go. Adventure is a lifestyle; in turn home is not defined by a specific place, but instead by many locations. At the same token, a traveler’s family is not defined by blood, but instead by the relatives forged along the journey. A cousin in Spain, a sister in Brazil and a lover in New York.
-Shana Alexander (1925-2005) American journalist and columnist
Break-ups can be brutal. You may want to curl up in the fetal position for a few days or weeks cocooned in blankets. After some time and plenty of tissue boxes later, you eventually break out of that cocoon and function again. Breaking out of bed is unfortunately the easy part; breaking out of your former self requires more work. Emotions aren’t cookie-cutter, they’re messy and complicated, and sometimes your heart dominates your mind. Thankfully, traveling exists to remedy the break-up blues, clear your mind, shed your skin and speed up the emotional healing process.
Everyone knows that leisure travel is a fun idea year-round, but here are ten reasons why traveling while going through a break-up is THE optimal time to travel:
1. If you get lost enough, you find yourself.
Planning an itinerary is a great, healthy distraction. Researching places and activities is educational and gives you something productive to do. When you finally arrive at the destination, you’ll probably get lost and be forced to find your way. Once you are successful, you’ll have proved to yourself that you’re a badass whose capable of anything. If you’re a woman, you’ll discover your inner warrior princess. If you’re a guy, you’ll tap into your deep-rooted 300 Spartan. No matter what sex you are, your skin will thicken and your soul will grow.
2. The little things you do while away will boost your self-esteem.
Driving, getting around alone, trying new things, seeing new places, tasting new foods and using a map will make you feel like a god or goddess. If you start to doubt yourself, just remember that you got this! Even by yourself. Pfft, especially by yourself. Go forth and climb those metaphorical and physical mountains.
3. Traveling is a catalyst to growth.
Traveling is the Neosporin of relationships! Everything you would normally feel while healing at home will most likely feel ten times better, or have more meaning, if done alone and in a foreign place. Also, the scary element of a new place will make muscles of independence develop faster. If you can do something abroad, or out-of-state, you can feel confident that you can conquer any task, even regardless of the setting.href=”https://passportsandpixiedust.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/954665_10152907366811458_7383459955924318616_n.jpg”>
4. You meet people.
Not only that, you meet people who probably have the same or similar interests as you, who are also often alone. They are USUALLY good, fun people. This makes you realize that even when you ARE alone in life, you are most certainly not. You’ll be surprised how many friends you’ll make if you are open. Just remember to keep your eyes open and be safe about it.
5. You observe the world in a new way, literally.
You start to notice the regularly overlooked details of the planet with a new pair of eyes and profound appreciation. Not only do you look at life with unparalleled wonder, but you welcome the sight of that awkward squirrel and notice the shape of the clouds.
6. You get peace and quiet.
Think of your passport as a mute button. Traveling allows you to reflect on the relationship without the influence of others’ opinions. You also avoid the risk of responding to or contacting your ex. More importantly, no service abroad could help you kick conversational habits. Receiving a text message usually triggers a dopamine response in people. In other words, getting a text message is equivalent to the pleasure of getting a treat. Being newly single will probably make you miss the constant attention you received from your ex. However, by having your phone on airplane mode while away, you eliminate the text message cues that illicit a reward reaction. In this way, you can learn to be happy without feeling the need to have your phone constantly buzz.
7. Out of sight, out of mind.
Being away can be just what you need. You will be out and about sightseeing and breathing in fresh air instead of crying in front of a computer screen, television, or both. Removing yourself from familiar places, people and surroundings also prevents resurfacing memories from the relationship. Additionally, being out of the country, or state, shields you from all of the people trying to be a rebound during your vulnerable state. That supposedly innocent shoulder to cry on could quickly turn into a face to suck. Trust me, you don’t want to suck that face right now, and probably never will.
8. You will be forced to smile for photos!
Based on psychological studies, forcing yourself to smile actually improves your mood. Grinning releases endorphins that make you happy, even if you’re in a sour mood. So go show off your pearly whites and take cheesy tourist photos to your heart’s content!
9. Plane rides give you time to get comfortable just being with yourself.
They also give you a small window to pamper yourself. Being on a plane is similar to being at a restaurant, you have people serve and wait on you. You’re also in a safe place, provided that there is no turbulence! Drink some champagne and chill out on your flight with a movie or music. You can also read, sleep or look out the window and admire the cities you pass. Do so and think about all of the other singles in the world. On the plane you can even secretly cry if you feel like it. It’s better to get the emotions out inside the aircraft, rather than inside the Notre Dame.
10.Travel makes you grow.
If you travel it while you’re already in the process of change, you will come out more capable than before. Greatness is birthed outside of comfort zones. Having positive thoughts and feelings are one thing, but actually going out and doing things for yourself evidence what you can do, and you can do it all if you give yourself the chance. After all, strength is thrust upon us when being strong is our only option.
Break-ups cloud minds, but everyone should remember that love may be an adventure, but so is life. Loss of love doesn’t mean loss of life; it just means you will have a different kind of adventure, one with yourself. Love, honor and respect yourself. Stand on your own two feet, and if you can afford it, stand on them abroad, or out-of-state. Don’t just keep your head up, but look up and look around at the fantastic world we live in. Absorb and cherish the spectacular moments you provide yourself and take pride in them. In a few years you might not even recall your ex’s name, but you will remember the way gelato felt touching your tongue for the first time, the rough texture of an elephant or nearly crying after laying your eyes on the indescribable beauty of La Sagrada Familia’s interior.