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On this supposedly romantic weekend, I’m sharing with you an anti-love story. I’m not bitter. At most I’m ambivalent to this Hallmark holiday. In fact, I’m a romantic at heart. I just don’t like the mass commercialization that comes with this day. I believe in celebrating love and a relationship if I’m in one, every day.
Contrary to popular belief just because you run a blog it doesn’t mean your life is an open book. In fact, it makes you even more careful what you put about yourself out there. I know I’ve been trying to put more of me and my personality into what I share here but to be honest it’s really hard. Naturally, I am a very private person so this post is so hard for me, but it’s something that’s been on my mind for awhile. I’ve written and rewritten this post over and over again, trying to make to make it perfect, but I don’t think I can ever achieve that so here goes:
Last summer, my Hungarian boyfriend and I broke up. There was no argument, no major disagreement. We were still in love, well at least I was. But we broke up none the less.
I made a passing mention of it in my 2014 recap post but hadn’t openly discussed it. I needed time. Time to process. Time to fall out of love. Time to get comfortable with the idea of no more us. Just me. Just him.
We broke up because it was the most adult choice. We were at an impasse with neither one able to make the leap. He didn’t want to move to Canada. I didn’t want to move back to Hungary where I had so little options when it came to finding work.
So we did the adult thing.
We talked about it and made the difficult choice. I fought the idea for the longest time, but after thinking about it for a long time it made sense. It was the only option.
We had exhausted every other possible solution except one.
Seeing each other every six months or so is not the way to developing a strong relationship. We were growing apart, little by little. I had my own life in Vancouver. He had his in Budapest. Certainly, we chatted every day, but PMs can only go so far. Same with Skype.
Falling in love abroad has its rewards and challenges.
It is true what they say about developing relationships when abroad though. It really is a great way of understanding another culture and of learning another language. I was put in situations that otherwise, an expat wouldn’t be privy to. I learned more about the Hungarian culture than I thought possible. Someone to explain the intricacies of a culture and behaviours that otherwise baffled me. Of course, that wasn’t what started me on this journey, but as I look back, it’s important to see the good in the relationship.
However, our cultural differences were also the root of many arguments and miscommunication, especially as we headed into a long distance relationship. Sometimes the things I said and did completely baffled him and vice versa.
But one thing that has remained constant through this all is my love for travel and for exploring the world. So I threw myself into it.
Even if travel can’t repair your heart, it can numb the pain for awhile.
The break up happened not long before I headed on my road trip around Oregon. During that 8 day trip, I threw myself into it, forcing myself to be happy. Using it as a distraction.
And you know what? It worked. Sure, maybe in a way you’re running away from the problem and that eventually you’ll still have to face it, but filling yourself with positive memories in the meantime can’t hurt. It gets you out of the house. It stops you from wallowing and falling into a pit of self-pity.
At the same time, It reminded me that I had a great group of friends, I was independent and that I’m fine on my own. All things that I had pre-break up when he was thousand of kilometers away.
Get busy and focus on something that you’re passionate about.
This breakup was unique in that I was already living a fairly independent life without him. It was just a matter of redoubling my efforts and focusing on my passion projects without any distractions.
So I threw myself into my blog. I completed a redesign and slight rebrand during this time. Writing was therapy. I wrote a lot during that time period (most of which went unpublished, but that’s okay). I picked up some freelance work.
I filled my time with other projects and endeavours. Yes, they were distractions, but they also helped me move on. I started dreaming up new projects ideas. I started exercising even more than I did before. I got involved with a volunteer organization that I was passionate about. I tried new things – like paddleboarding! All in the effort of rediscovering who I was.
Surround yourself with positive people
My friends were great during this time period. There was not one weekend where I stayed home to wallow. Instead, I was over at friend’s houses or out enjoying a meal. Surrounding myself with laughter and the positive energy that my friends radiate. Even my friends abroad were there for me, offering support and Skype chats at all hours of the day whenever I needed to talk.
Having closure really helps regardless of the situation.
We broke up despite already having planned to see each other in Hong Kong in a couple months time. In many ways I was dreading seeing him. What if it was awkward? What if it was like no time had passed? So many what ifs.
In the end, it wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be and it provided some sort of closure. It provided an opportunity to talk in person. To have a proper end. Not to mention we had the opportunity to create more happy travel memories together that outweigh all the sadness.
Through it all, remember to have faith in the future.
It’s hard letting go. Of the past. Of the possible future. One of the most difficult things to wrap my head around was having faith for the future – that there is someone else out there for me. I believe that there is no one person that you’re destined to be with, that you come across multiple people in your life that you are compatible with and it’s up to you to figure it out and make it work. It is in this that I must trust as I head into the future and start to date again.
As I write this, I’m comforted by the fact that time has allowed me to heal. Time has allowed me to move on. I’m happy that I can write this tear free – a true sign that the hurt has disappeared and I’m only left with all the good memories of our time together.
I’m loving this essay from Hannah at Eat Sleep Breathe Travel on Being a Girl Who Travels which is so empowering. I am truly looking forward to what the future has in store for me. Hopefully, it’s lots and lots of travel opportunities!
How do you get over a break-up? Do you think travel is a good way of healing wounds?