What becomes of the broken-hearted? They travel
Travel, if you haven't guessed it by now, is wonderful. It satisfies and spurs on the curious. It lets the restless stretch their legs. It provides answers and new questions to those seeking them. And it helps cure a broken heart.
There is no pain like the of having your heart broken. The definited, dense pain, the crushing of your insides, your sudden inability to breathe. There is no way around it; having your heart broken by someone you love is the worst feeling in the entire world. Sometimes, even more than death, because it is a whole-hearted rejection of YOU.
And while there is no quick-fix for such maladies - Time is what heals all - there is a cure:
When I was 18, I had my heart broken for the first time. Coincidently - or not - this was the year I headed off to Australia and New Zealand to travel by myself for 6 months.
I was not independent by any means...in fact, one of the reasons why I was in such rough shape was because I had become too dependent - on my boyfriend, parents, everything. So, it was surprising to find myself planning for this trip alone.
I don't know how it came about (soooo long ago, it feels) but I knew that I had to leave. My Ex, my heartbreak, the aftermath...everything was home. I wanted to go away as far from home as possible. And Australia is pretty much as far as you can go.
And so I hopped on a flight to Wellington and that was it.
Travel soothed my aching soul. It opened up my eyes to new possibilities. It wasn't about hooking up or about finding new loves. It just made me realize how much there was out there in life and that having my heart crushed was not going to stop me from moving on and living my life.
After 6 months away, I came back a changed woman. I gained independence which hasn't fully left me to this day (and I pray it never will). I found a calling in life (independent travel). I met friends, challenged fears, had adventures and truly got to know myself as me.
It didn't cure my broken heart but it helped fix it at a faster rate. I had distractions of a new environment. I had the advantage of not being around things that were familiar or reminded me of him. And as I met more people, I realized that he wasn't the only guy out there for me. That no matter how dearly you feel that someone is the one, that there will be others. Yes, it takes time - for me it took over four years (save a one month relationship in the mix) - to find someone else. But it happened. And in the meantime, I traveled because travel itself was like a new lover to me. And I never felt alone because of that.
I know that no matter what happens to me and my heart, that travel will always be willing to embrace me with open arms. Now, all I have to do is figure out what to say to my other partner - my job.