It’s no secret that I absolutely love to travel. It’s how I refuel when I’m burned out and in need of a reset.
But while Instagram makes it look like my adventures around the world have always been magical and carefree, the truth is that many of them occurred while I was nursing a broken heart.
The day I left for Ireland was my second anniversary, and was exactly 8 days after I learned that my husband had been cheating on me. I planned the trip in a bit of a daze, and while the country was astoundingly beautiful and brought me so much joy— there were still many days spent sad and weepy as I checked a phone that wasn’t ringing, and wondered what I would be traveling back home to.
Only a few weeks later, I attended my cousins wedding in Canada sans a date. As a wedding professional, I felt sick to my stomach when I had to call the bride and inform her, after what I KNEW was too late to alert the caterers, that I would not be attending with a +1. Much of our family still didn’t know the truth of what was happening back home at that point, so I’m sure you can imagine how overwhelming that was.
Not to be outdone, our three week sailing voyage with my in- laws had already been planned and paid for, and 6 days before our departure, I was informed that this period of ‘limbo’ we had been barely treading water through, was coming to an abrupt halt, because he would be officially moving out upon our return.
6 countries. I traveled to 6 countries during that period, and had to field the questions of “oh my gosh did you have the most AMAZING time?” over and over and over again.
And the truth is, I DID have an amazing time, and I’m eternally grateful for each of those experiences. Each of those trips reminded me that there was a world outside of my own problems, and that there were people with far greater problems in this world than a divorce.
But on the last day of our European tour, my cousin sent me a text message that I will forever be grateful for. It read something along the lines of, “I know that things are crazy right now, and you probably have mixed emotions about going home, so I was wondering how you felt about taking a trip with me before the end of the year? Might be fun to have something else to look forward too!”
Obviously, I immediately agreed— with the understanding that I had no capacity to plan another trip, and would basically just book a flight to wherever she told me to.
So she picked Marrakech, which I had to Google, but ultimately said “oh hell yes, let’s go!”
The next few months passed in a blur, as I came back to the US and jumped right into our busiest time of the year. I worked, cleared things out of the house, went to a LOT of therapy, and worked on healing my heart.
By the time it was time to pack for the trip, I realized that I was absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to travel to a new place with an open mind and an open heart to see, appreciate, and experience something new with a clear head and outlook on life.
Instead of wishing someone else was there or wondering for the 100th time what trouble he was getting into at home, I was able to just be present. I could take out my phone to take photos, instead of to check for missed calls that never came.
We laughed, and shared old stories, and caught up on life. We made limited plans, napped when we were tired, made new friends, and I got told that I look like Lady Gaga— TWICE.
The pit in my stomach that had been ever present for the last 2+ years dissolved somewhere in the last 6 months, and what replaced it was a fire that is pushing and challenging me to try new things, and to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.
While I realize that everything has a season, I hope that the fire in my belly that challenges me to take risks and cease the moment never goes away.