Healing from a divorce or break up? Take it from a therapist and go travel solo!
How traveling alone can heal your heart and help you become the next best version of yourself.
The best advice I ever received after my divorce didn’t come from my therapist, it came from a girlfriend who had traveled the world. When she suggested, over coffee, that I go travel for a while, I was shocked. It certainly wasn’t the “right” time for me to take off and travel when I was still getting through the divorce proceedings, had no career lined up (I’d devoted myself to the job of being a military spouse for the past 6 years,) and had no clue what I’d actually do with my life once the divorce was final.
I’d traveled extensively with my mother and soon to be ex-husband, but I’d never even considered taking off alone. When she suggested that I come and meet her in Spain over the summer and then decide whether I wanted to fly back home with her or venture out on my own, I was both terrified and intrigued. Everyone else I knew thought it was a bad idea. They wanted me to stay home, figure out my career and stick to a plan of building my life before everything completely fell apart. I understand why everyone told me not to go, but I’m also thankful I decided not to listen to any of them.
My initial two-week stay in Spain turned into a three-month solo journey through France, Italy and Norway. There were times when I was lonely, hot, exhausted and unable to carry my suitcase one more step, and there were also times when perfect strangers offered to help and care for me in ways I never experienced in my family and marriage. I learned to sit with my grief and uncomfortable feelings, to trust myself to make good decisions and trust my instincts and to open up to the possibilities of love and a different way of living my life.
The woman who returned home from that solo summer in Europe was a completely different version of the woman I was before I flew away. I felt confident, free, independent, trusting of myself and the world around me, ready to find the love I knew was possible for me and determined to create a life I loved, instead of allowing those around me to dictate my life.
I grew and healed more that summer than I ever had in years of traditional therapy, and, now that I’m a licensed therapist, I encourage my clients to plan a solo trip after they’ve experienced heartbreak. It’s amazing to watch them fly away solo and return healed and changed in ways beyond the reaches of anything that can be accomplished in a therapy office.
If you are ready to rid yourself of heartbreak, maybe it’s time to plan your solo trip!