How travel can mend a broken heart

When you go through a break up, whether it’s your first or you have been there many a time, it’s always that same gut-wrenching, soul destroying feeling, the one you think you’ll never recover from.

You will generally go through all the stages of grief: beginning with shock and denial, he doesn’t really mean this; then pain and guilt, I should’ve been more supportive of him; followed by anger and bargaining, I hate him, I can’t believe he lied to me but maybe I should forgive him; and then the lowest point of all, depression —he’s never coming back, there’s no point in living.

So once you have eaten three tubs of cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream, watched The Notebook four times, and stalked him around the clock on Facebook and Instagram to no avail… step through those mountains of tissues scattered across your bedroom floor, open up those puffy red eyes, look in the mirror and say “I will survive … once I buy a ticket out of here!”

Some people call it running away, but in all reality, sometimes running away can save your life. The reason traveling is a great thing to do during a time of heartbreak is because it removes you from the world you’re living in and transports you into another world, one with new logistics and new problems to focus on –small and mundane or large and dramatic, but important enough to take your focus off the demons you left behind.

Think of this new location as a new planet, or an alternate world. Everything will be so new, maybe even a little dangerous or scary, people will be speaking different languages and eating different kinds of food. Getting around or ordering food will be something that requires a lot of concentration, and that is what you need right now. Taking the focus off the pain.

When you’re whisked away to a new place, you’re forced to focus on the now. You’re busy meeting new people, you’re maybe even volunteering, and you’re drinking beers with locals and travelers by night. You’re constantly busy and surrounded by people, everything is shiny and new. While you might still pine over your lost love, it will only be momentary, and before too many minutes pass you by you will be snapped out of it by a “hola amiga” or “xin chào bạn”.

If you are mending a broken heart, think about this option, take a chance and take yourself on a new adventure! There will be nothing lost, and so much more to gain. When you return home, you will certainly feel more refreshed, more motivated to start your new life, and most likely you’ll have a new outlook on what happened. Your ex might still be in your heart, but it won’t be as painful, and it won’t take up as much space in your brain. Best case scenario: you come back home and you are totally over your him or her. Maybe you even met someone!


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