Selling your home and possessions in order to travel the world full-time sounds like a radical idea to most, but for me, it was an attempt to heal my broken heart.
I had spent most of my 20’s getting my degree and being in an emotionally abusive relationship that would later turn into marriage.
I was a mother and stepmother desperately and unsuccessfully trying to blend my family. It was exhausting.
Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I was so busy and obsessed with trying to “fight” for my husband that I stopped fighting for myself and my own biological children. I’m ashamed of this.
I pushed aside my own happiness in order to try and make my husband happy. In the end, it was a lost cause.
The Day I Realized My Marriage Was Over, I knew I needed to go. Staying put was not doing anything for me. I was constantly reliving the heartache and pain. I needed to forget. I needed to heal.
I figured an open road and my 3 favorite girls (daughters) was all the therapy I needed so we headed out on an adventure of a lifetime.
Finally, I was beginning to feel happiness again. There is something powerful about doing things on your own. Even though I wasn’t truly alone because my three beautiful girls were with me, it was still in a sense my solo trip.
Sometimes Plans Change For The Better
Initially, we were only supposed to go on a short road trip but that turned into 7 weeks, 10 states, and 3,927 miles. A life-changing experience.
So much so, that even after our road trip ended with a plane ride to Disney World, we headed back on the open road for another long road trip. This time to Canada. We are still on that one.
Something was happening with me. Maybe healing? I am not sure but the pain slowly started to disappear.
Nothing about traveling was easy. I didn’t plan anything so things were chaotic a lot of the time. Exhausted on a daily basis, I struggled to keep my cool when it came to the girls. Money was (is) limited so we didn’t always get to do much. Instead, we sought out free things like parks and libraries. Even so, happiness took me in its arms. When depression did try and pry me away, it would be time for our next destination and the distraction would keep the depression at bay.
Not Everyone Is An Ass
Meeting new people on our travels, taught me to trust again. People were so kind and helpful. It restored my faith in humanity.
I started to read again. Reading was a passion of mine before my marriage but during it, I was guided in what I should read. Finally, I was reading and writing what I loved again instead of what I was being manipulated to love.
When you are dealing with a failed relationship or marriage, you have a tendency to blame yourself. If only I had been a better wife, thinner, nicer, … then maybe he wouldn’t have had that affair.
But the reality is that it has absolutely nothing to do with you. YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.
TO this day, my heart still aches. TO this day I have flashbacks and I cringe. Panic attacks still keep me up at night at times.
Me Myself And I
But, although my heart is still healing, I have learned to value and love myself again. Every time I accomplish something, my love for myself grows.
Just the other night in Montreal, I had to parallel park my big a** vehicle. I kept saying to the girls “there is no way my FJ could fit in that tiny spot.” We drove around the block three times searching for parking before finally deciding to make an attempt. The oldest got out to help guide me and believe it or not, after five minutes of maneuvering, we squeezed that big ass FJ into that tiny spot. I was so proud of the oldest and myself.
Traveling Won’t Heal Your Heart But It Will Teach You To Love Again
Traveling pushes you out of your comfort zone. When you accomplish new things, it gives you a little confidence boost. Each time I manage to get through something whether that be a 7-hour drive with a toddler, or ordering McDonald’s in French, I feel more and more proud of myself.
When I was married, I felt incapable of doing things on my own. I am serious. I wouldn’t even order my own food or go to the doctor by myself. I absolutely needed my husband.
Now, I have learned, that I only need myself. In the same way, I do not need anyone to love me but me.
What steps are you going to take in order to learn to love yourself again?