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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Traveling To Get Over A Break Up

Traveling is a great way to get over a break up. This isn't my first time running from my problems, and personally, I'd recommend it, but then again, you shouldn't take any of my advice about love. Seriously, what the hell do I know? If I had the answers, I wouldn't have been to all the low places I have come to know like the back of my hand. Despite the popular saying "Don't run from your problems", it's actually been a great way for me to feel like I tackle them head on. It's kind of an oxymoron to me now. No matter where you are, you will run into yourself eventually and traveling gives you a lot of solo time, which also means time to think. Everything kind of sorts itself out in my subconscious because it's constantly in the back of my mind, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. I have learned that pushing myself out of my comfort zone really makes me bounce back simply because I have to. Sure, I sulk on the couch with ice cream, wine and Netflix just like any other girl, then I have the period where I go out every weekend, drink, flirt and have a few one nighters, but that gets old real quick. In my early 20s, that was the norm, but now I feel different. Call it maturity or the fact that I don't speak Italian well enough to flirt, but I haven't been interested in that cycle this time.

Let me fill you in.

The day I left, S and I were on good terms (shockingly enough), and to be honest, a small part of me thought about staying because things were...well, nice, really nice. But, I remembered why I was doing this and I suddenly felt really good about my decision. No tears, no regrets about leaving the relationship I knew in my gut wasn't right. I was looking forward to my future for the first time in a long time, and that was just for me. For a few weeks after I left, we would text and Skype, laugh about inside jokes, and admit we missed each other, but I was actually doing well. I never thought about going back to him, and I knew this was for good, but he still acted like I was going to have some groundbreaking realization and jump on the next flight back to LA to run into his arms. Nah.  The more days that passed, the more sure I was. I was happy. I was excited about waking up in the morning to explore my new surroundings and loved the thought of not having to worry about anyone else. I did what I wanted, when I wanted and it was amazing. Freedom.

She's pondering life...and smiling. 

During this time, I realized that he was still hanging on and it was partially my fault because I was still talking to him like a best friend when he reached out. Remember, we hadn't had sex for the last 2 months of our living together because I just didn't feel it anymore. I still think that made it much easier to break off when it was time for me to go, since there was much less emotional baggage between us. He wasn't happy about it, I'm sure, but that's what I decided and I'm glad it worked out that way. Anyway, he started bringing up the good aspects of our relationship a lot more and that's when I realized I needed to cut him off. About a month into being gone, it was time. I had a few glasses of wine with dinner, came home and looked at my phone. Right before I made the call, it hit me. Why was I crying now? Was it the alcohol? Was it the fact that I was about to really leave him? Was it the feeling of losing a friend? I didn't know, but I had to do it. He answered, we small talked and I dropped the bomb, with tears. He understood and said he was beginning to get angry with me for leaving, so it was good timing. In all this time, he had some new opportunities come up, changed jobs, and talked to a girl or two. I wasn't jealous, or even mad or hurt. I wanted him to move on, because I knew I was. That's what made me feel ok after we hung up and I was glad.

After 2 weeks of no contact, he wrote me something about our dog and I didn't respond. A few days later, he texted me again. This time I answered and we ended up chatting for a few hours, on and off, talking about regrets and sorrows in our relationship and things that should have gone differently. The chat turned into a phone call and the phone call turned into closure. He apologized for some things, I apologized for some things, and in the end it made me really happy to hear him say out loud what he learned from it all. What shocked me even more was when he hit the nail on the head with the turning point of our relationship, which ultimately led to its downfall being his fault. Thank you! That was it.

"You took your suite case, I took the blame..." (what's that song called??)

Being on the move since I left has really done me a world of good. Not only was it the opportunity to start a new chapter for myself, I've had a lot of time for self reflection. Planes, trains and busses. I carried my journal everywhere with me, and still do for the most part, which always gives me the option to turn my solo lunch into productive me-time. I can't call my best friend to distract me at any time, I can't head my favorite, comfortable spot in town, or go out and have my friends buy me shots and tell me that the hot bartender has been eyeing me all night. Traveling distracts you to a point, but I truly believe it also forces you to learn about yourself more than in any other situation at home; double time if it's paired with a break up.

(Break Up - Comfort Zone) + Travel = Escape + Alone Time = Self Reflection = Realization = Healing

Not only is it hard to be sad when I'm in my favorite city, I can't stop thinking about all the things I need to do to get my life started here. Goals keep me motivated and moving forward. Not to mention, lots of hot Italian eye candy to distract me and make me fantasize about future rendezvous.

My advice: Say Fuck it and use the breakup as an excuse to go somewhere you've never gone, but have always wanted to. You can thank me later when you have the best experience of your life. Ride a camel, hike Machu Picchu, go wine tasting in Italy, learn yoga in Bali. Just go somewhere! Eat Pray Love that shit!

Have you ever traveled after a break up? How was it?