Breaking up can be a traumatic experience. People become confused, hurt, regretful and/or angry. A bad breakup can change your mood and energy levels for weeks. Some people lose the motivation to go out, socialize and continue their normal schedule.
What you might not have known is that travel is a potential remedy for the hardest consequences of breaking up. It can help clear your mind, distract you, and even start forming new friendships again. Here is a list of reasons why the best time to travel might be right after a breakup:
1. Busy = healthy
The stuff involved with traveling is a perfect way to keep yourself busy, instead of dwelling on a recent breakup. Planning out a daily schedule, touring, finding unique restaurants, and more will all keep your mind busy with new experiences and problem solving.
2. Quiet time
Especially if you’re journeying alone, travel is a time for peace of mind and the time and quiet for reflection. As opposed to your normal schedule – where work and friends and family obligations keep you from focusing on what’s troubling you – travel will give you the quiet time that you need to simply problem-solve in your head. On a very basic level, you might have to give up your cell phone for a few days – a refreshing and cleansing process. You will neither be able to communicate with an ex nor be bothered by a constant inflow of texts, e-mails, etc. If you can think things over or meditate in front of a beautiful new landscape or horizon, even better.
3. Growth agent
Traveling forces us into new situations, which, if conquered, bring us emotional growth. Once you’re out of your comfort zone and your geographical neighborhood, the added benefit is exponentially greater.
4. New things
Seeing new places and things will give you more perspective on life in general and, of course, recent hardships. Perhaps you will see your breakup in a new light and realize that it was either necessary, unavoidable or, at least, not as bad as you thought. Seeing either the greatest wonders of the world or, on the other side of the coin, how some less-fortunate people live, your own issues will seem miniscule in comparison.
5. Out of sight, out of mind
Being outside, hiking, sightseeing or swimming will be a much healthier use of your time than sitting at home or work, stalking your ex on Facebook and mulling over depressing thoughts and questions. Once away, you won’t be tempted to do a lot of the detrimental things we all are liable to do when we break up with someone.
6. New people
Meeting people in a foreign place is so exciting. Part of the magic of travel is the fact that you never know who you will meet. It could be a local of wherever you’re going, or someone else traveling from across the world. The opportunities are endless here: new friendships, new knowledge, a fun day of touring together, or, who knows, maybe even a new flirtation or romance! Keep your mind open, be friendly and safe.
7. Treat yourself!
On vacation we all have the tendency to treat ourselves a little better – a bit more shopping, a fancy restaurant, another glass of wine – and that’s just fine! If you were recently hurt, now is the perfect time to pamper yourself and realize that you don’t need anyone else in order to enjoy the fun things in life. This is not to advocate blowing your whole bank account at the designer outlet – just give yourself a little extra and start to enjoy independence again.
8. Small challenges
Figuring out the alleyways of a new city, driving on the wrong side of the street, navigating a new language – all these small challenges will build up your self-confidence, which might have taken a blow when you broke up.
The difficult times in our lives force us to overcome them, grow and change – hopefully into stronger and more aware individuals. Travel can aid in that process by getting us out of our comfort zones and presenting us with distractions and new challenges.
Love is an adventure, much like travel, with uphill battles, falls, moments of being lost, and great rewards at the end. A breakup is a perfect opportunity to find and tap into the strength inside yourself that was always there – before you even knew what love is – and will always be there, whether you’re single or in a relationship. Enjoy the moments you can while being single, either at home or in a foreign place. While in a few years, your ex won’t even cross your mind anymore, you’ll always recall the beautiful sunset you watched on a beautiful beach in a far-off destination.