Last Updated on July 19, 2022 by Tina
Can solo travel heal a broken heart? I’ve been planning on writing about this topic for a long time already. I remember for Valentine’s Day, I had already written a few paragraphs and then I decided to delete it (not even leave it in the drafts folder). And today I’m supposed to write about the James Bond Island tour, but I was triggered because of the movie Persuasion that I just finished watching on Netflix. Apologies to those who were expecting a travel guide today.
Breakups are hard. What’s even harder is going through a breakup during a pandemic. I’ve been through one more than a year ago, and I can say it was really tough. This wasn’t my first heartbreak, but this was harder to move on from. My first one was actually the reason I started going on solo hikes and travels. Unfortunately for this one, it happened when borders were still closed. The farthest solo travel I was able to make was my solo walks on the beach 160 meters away from our house. 🤣
The challenging part of moving on is that it is a rollercoaster ride. You may think you’re doing fine already, that you’ve already moved on, then something triggers you and you realize you’re not yet okay. I’m very lucky I have good friends who very patiently listen to me every time I go through this, and they always tell me it’s part of the process, and that I will eventually heal.
Every time I would feel down, I would always tell my friend that maybe if there were no travel restrictions, I would have moved on already. It’s like I was so sure that travel is the cure to heartbreak.
This year, the world is slowly opening again and countries like Thailand and Singapore already scrapped the travel insurance, travel pass, and pre-departure test requirements, as long as you are fully vaccinated. Last month, I was able to travel solo again after 3 years. Did my solo travel help me heal my broken heart?
Before I answer the question, let me tell you first why I advise that you travel solo after a breakup.
Planning your trip distracts you and gives you something to look forward to
The hardest part of going through a breakup is the negative thoughts that go with it. You tend to overthink things, you ask yourself if things would have worked out if you had done something else, and you start asking yourself if there is something wrong with you. Having something to keep you busy distracts you from these thoughts. Planning a trip and going on a trip is a really good distraction. And the best part is feeling excited while waiting for that travel day to come.
You get reminded of what you used to be before the relationship
This was the highlight of my trip last month. It was such a good feeling being reminded of how I was before I got into a relationship. I have always been a strong, independent woman but somehow I became dependent when I was in a relationship. Before getting into a relationship, I rarely asked for someone’s help or opinion. For everything I need, I check Google for the answer. And I was used to not having anyone checking on me. I’m not saying that these things are bad. It actually feels nice having someone helping you decide or worrying about you. But what I am trying to say is that I’ve been single before and I did just fine.
One of my fears when I was planning the trip is that I will get lonely. But I enjoyed every minute of it. I got reminded that eating out alone, exploring places on my own, and joining group tours alone are things that I was really good at and enjoyed doing.
You get to discover yourself
When you get into a relationship, sometimes you lose your identity. The “I” becomes a “we”. There may be things that you are doing only because it’s what your partner does. When you travel alone, you discover things about yourself- the things you are passionate about, what your goals in life are, and what you want to do next.
You will realize that there are plenty of fish in the sea
When my relationship ended, I thought I wouldn’t find someone as nice as him again. During the trip, I met a few guys that made me realize there are still guys out there who are gentlemen and know how to respect a girl. But don’t try to jump into a new relationship immediately thinking that it will help you heal faster. It won’t and it isn’t fair to the other person. He/she may distract you from your ex, but whatever lingering feelings that you have will still be there.
And now to answer the question “can solo travel heal a broken heart”, it will, but not completely. Just because you went on one trip doesn’t mean you’ll forget about your ex after the trip already. Healing takes time. But I can assure you you’ll come back better and stronger.
And lastly, pray for God to heal you, and give you what’s best for you. My mom and my best friend always tell me this. I’m not a religious person but I believe in the power of prayers. Things happen for a reason and what’s meant for you will always find its way.