The end of a relationship is not unlike being bereaved. You can experience a riot of emotions: sadness, anger, guilt, overwhelming grief. When everything seems to hurt, you may feel tempted to hide away from the world, but in fact getting out and seeing more of it is often the best cure. Going traveling provides immediate distractions and gives you a fresh perspective on life. You may be surprised at all the different ways that it can help you.
Getting away from it all
When you’re emerging from a relationship, you need to distance yourself from the associations that you have between your former partner and the places and things that you see every day. Being in the same house and the same social venues where you spent time together makes it harder to begin the recovery process. Spending a few days or weeks somewhere else can really help you to clear your head. You’re also likely to need some positivity in your life, and self-care is rarely more important, so why not indulge yourself with that luxury vacation that you’ve always wanted? Head for an exotic destination or soak up the sun in a luxury resort. It will do you a world of good.
They say that time heals, so why do some sorrows seem to pass more quickly than others? It actually has a lot to do with what you’re doing in that time. Scientists have found that one of the most effective ways of letting go of old memories is to replace them with new ones, and there’s nothing like a vacation to help you do that. Seek out activities that will be meaningful to you, whether that means exploring a city that you’ve always longed to visit, seeing a place so beautiful that it takes your breath away, or taking on a challenge that looks exciting but also a little bit terrifying. Immerse yourself in a new culture, start learning a new language, try new foods, and dance to new kinds of music. These things will change you. You’ll no longer be the person who used to be in that relationship, the person who feels that something is missing. You’ll be a new person full of exciting thoughts and ideas, ready to engage with life in a new way.
Learning to look after yourself
When you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it can be easy to get used to your partner doing things for you. It’s natural for a division of labor to occur within a relationship, with each partner playing to their strengths. As a result, you can find yourself suddenly alone and uncertain how to cook or drive or fill in forms. All of these skills are easily recoverable, but you may feel intimidated by the idea of taking them on when you’re already low on confidence. Rather than trying to stick to your usual routine and finding ways around these matters or depending on friends, fling yourself in at the deep end by hitting the road on a trip that forces you to be truly independent again. Even if you don’t use all those missing skills during your travels, you’ll feel much more confident when you’re reminded of what you can do on your own, and you’ll be ready for anything.
Connecting with new people
The end of a relationship doesn’t just mean the loss of a partner. All too often, it can also mean losing friends, or feeling odd around the people you used to spend time with as a couple. Friendships that were really worthwhile will recover in time, but in the meantime meeting new people is a great way to re-engage with the world. New friendships will also help you to see yourself in a new light. Just remember that book by D.A. Wolf and don’t mess yourself up again by getting into a rebound relationship. Flirtation is one thing, but it will be some time before you’re ready for anything more serious, no matter how intense your feelings may be – and you wouldn’t want to hurt somebody else in the process of confirming that. Be honest about your circumstances, keep things light, and you can have all of the gain of renewed social activity with none of the pain.
There’s never a better time to reach out and demand more from life than when you’re feeling low, so don’t get stuck in a rut – check out your travel options and prepare for adventure. You never know, you might even have fun.