When all else fails, go travel!
How traveling can bring you out of your funk.
Back in 2013, my life was falling apart. I was recently separated from my husband and in the throws of facing our upcoming divorce. It felt like I was losing my family, my identity, my community and myself. After devoting my life to supporting my husband’s career as a jet pilot in the military, I had no idea what life would look like without him and everything we’d built together.
When a friend invited me to meet her in Europe for a month-long stay in Southern Spain, everyone else thought it was a really bad idea. Instead of taking off to explore Europe and spend my days lounging on the costa del sol, I should be job hunting, saving my money and doing the responsible thing of figuring out what my future would look like post divorce. Instead of listening to “everyone else,” I packed my bags and flew away anyway.
Saying yes to the opportunity to travel to Europe was the best decision I’ve ever made. It was an investment in my own courage, inspiration, romanticism and longing for adventure. Without this trip, I don’t know if I would have ever truly recovered from the trauma of losing my marriage or truly remembered who I really was beneath all the expectations I was fulfilling in a life with my husband.
What was meant to be a month stay in Spain turned into a three-month adventure all over Europe. Meeting and connecting with people from almost every country in Europe opened my eyes to different ways of living, believing and being. Traveling solo for much of my trip brought back my confidence and trust in following my own intuition. Seeing beautiful sights and tasting amazing food renewed my passion for nature, nurturing myself and indulging in the good things in this life.
Staying home might have been the “responsible” thing to do, but it wouldn’t have gotten me out of my funk or helped me heal from the trauma of my divorce. I needed to get out of my own little bubble in order to experience what happiness, joy, wonder and adventure felt like after years of experiencing heartbreak and sadness. I needed a big reminder that there really was an amazing life waiting for me beyond the life I was losing.
I’m happy to share that, 4 years later, I am living the amazing life that was always waiting for me beyond the life I said goodbye to back then and I continue to live by the mantra: When all else fails, go travel!