*This is not an article about how travel can save your life, or about how seeing the wonders of the world can change your mortal soul. This is an article about the positive benefits of travel and how it can help you in some very real ways to overcome periods of difficulty without you even knowing it*
You might not know this, but I have recently gone through a relationship breakup. I cannot tell you how difficult it is when the person you trusted beyond all others and looked forward to a future with, cuts those ties and moves away from you without a moment’s pause. Finding my way through the worst has not been easy and meant that I spent my time focused on getting through the day rather than writing my beloved articles of travel.
Thankfully, I believe in positive thinking with there being a flip side to every situation and part of mine is that I had two trips booked and paid for, (one as a surprise for the newly departed), both of which I now get to enjoy on my own.
I’m not sure what I was expecting to find on the first of these two trips but I certainly came back a calmer, happier, more confident version of myself than before I left. Travel was the silent healer and I feel ready to take those first steps back in to the world and towards the life that I want for myself. And you know what else? There is no-one and nothing to stop me, I am completely free to discover the life that truly suits me, to do what I love and include people that deserve to be a part of my world, and that is one of the most exciting feelings I have had in a long time.
With one trip still to go, I cannot wait to find out where the next months take me. So by the time I am jetting off to this beautiful location, I will simply relax and enjoy the ride.
Here are some of the reasons why I think travel is the perfect antidote to heartbreak:
The confidence you speedily accrue from being in sole charge of your decisions is fantastic. You want to go somewhere? You have to figure out how to get there. Your train is cancelled, you ask someone for help and find another way. You’re hungry, well what are you going to do about it? No-one else is going to bring you food are they? I realise that a lot of these things are normal for many of us in everyday life, but there is something different about finding ways to manage on your own in a strange place. Once you’ve been there a couple of days, all the basics will be in place and you’ll be walking round like a local.
Likewise, the empowerment from feeling ok travelling in a party of one is like nothing else for helping you understand that life will be alright. You’ve got this. I can’t deny that I enjoy surprising people by not being what they expect. My natural style of travel is no exception to this and the reaction is varied. Some people you come across will be concerned about your solo travel, some will admire you for it. What you need to remember is that most reactions from others are a reflection of how they feel and think about their own lives. Your choice to travel alone is a reflection of yours and you should be 100% proud of it. If you can do that, what else can you do?
On the flip side. Sometimes you just need a break from people. The beauty of travelling solo is that you get to choose how much time you spend around others. One of my best days was spent wandering a local estate garden and the surrounding woodland recommended to me by a local shopkeeper who often went there for a day to herself, when her husband was at work. The result was a happy and comfortable day spent wandering around with a garden map and a picnic lunch, completely content with my own company.
People often ask whether I get bored travelling alone and the answer is yes, occasionally. But most of the time, no. Being comfortable spending time alone is freeing and its taken me some time to figure out why. By spending time with yourself, you are not relying on anyone or anything else to entertain you. You are looking inwards, not outwards. Learning to be your own amusement can only do good in terms of your self-worth. Now add to that the realisation that you can see great sights and experience new things as your new individual self and you will be itching to get out there and explore.
Achieving time alone through travel gives you a proper break from people, a break from the every day, a break from the blah blah blah going on inside your own head and to focus on how to get the bus to so and so. Being present in the moment is what gives you a break. It is time for you, time to breathe and to focus, time to figure things out without even thinking about your heartache.
This is time for you for whatever you want. With a bit of time and a bit of space, you will realise that you are feeling more like yourself again. If you can do this, it shows just how strong you are. You can get through this setback to the happier days that are waiting in the future for you. And what’s more you are starting to look forward to finding out what and who will be in them. All these possibilities, well aren’t you the lucky one!
In short, solo travel, it’s great! At some point or another we all find ourselves in difficult and stressful life situations. If you happen to find yourself at a crossroad, consider a break away for some much needed r&r space where you can get yourself together and find that zing in your life again.
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