Most of my listeners don't know, but when I started out traveling, it was actually in a couple, Me and my then girlfriend packed our things and moved to Australia.
Now, when people ask me about my perfect girl, I describe what my perfect girl's like, her attributes, her temperament, her beliefs, and they ask: "So why did you break up with her?"
She was a beautiful person, still is, but as you all know, sometimes even the most perfect of things don't work out.
One day as we were hanging out, drinking some wine, I said "Hey, you know how we've just been, like, friends for a while, right?"
"Yeah..." She said.
"Let's just... do that?"
"Yeah, I like that." She replied. Easiest breakup ever. But that doesn't mean the emotions following were any lessened- and that was when I found myself traveling solo through Asia, reinventing myself, getting in touch with myself, and finding out who 'I' was.
- Don't Go 'Home'
When we're hurt, in trouble or anything else like that, our immediate reaction is to seek comfort. Where's the most comfortable place? Of course, Disney World, but I'm talking about 'home'. You'll want to jet off there and be surrounded by your loved ones so bad.
My advice on this is not to. Here's the secret- you're strong enough to get through it. This is a moment in life where you've fallen off the climbing frame and you want to run to your Dad- what I'm suggesting is to brush yourself off, and carry on, because you know what? You can. And you'll be glad you did.
- Reframe Yourself
When you come out of a relationship, your view of yourself is shifted. You've spent so long being Karen and Bobby that you know longer know who Karen is, without Bobby. Why do you think people jump from relationship to relationship? Because they feel scared when they can't relate to themselves anymore. Like when you're in a room with a friend and their friend, then your friend leaves. What do you talk about? What if they don't get your sense of humour? "God, I wish my friend would come back... with more wine..."
As we know, when you're on the road, you learn more about yourself than anything else. So go out and learn. Find out what you're like in different situations, if you can trust yourself with different scenarios and how you handle life. You are not part of a whole, you are a whole person.
Also, one of the coolest things about travel is that there are no yesterdays on the road. What I mean by that is that when you meet someone, they're not meeting Karen, the 24 year old artist that has spent the last 6 years planning a life with Bobby- they're meeting Karen, a girl with a smile on her face.
And whether or not you want to go into it with them, that's the first interaction, and that's what they're basing you on- that's why they like you. For you. They don't see you as half of a couple. Let me rephrase that- they know you're not half of a couple- they know you're a unique, open human being with whom they have the potential to create some amazing memories.
Ah, the great healer. Music can tell you things about yourself that even you didn't know. Whether it's that you "Weren't born to follow" or that you like to "Move it, move it"- it speaks languages that you understand deeply.
One album I would recommend is Relient K's 'Forget and Not Slow Down'. The guitarist and singer went through a bad breakup, locked himself in a cabin in the forest and wrote this album. Formerly a punk rock band, but now more poppy- this record will speak to you throughout every song.
That, and Sigur Ros' 'Takk'.
- Introverts: Take The Time / Extroverts: Make the Time
Firstly, for all of you introverts out there, like myself, we get our energy from solitude. That's where we do our thinking, assess everything, come to conclusions and heal.
So whilst traveling, it's amazing to have alone time. It's also very hard sometimes to have some alone time. But no matter where you are, you are always able to wander off, put on 'Takk' by Sigur Ros and have your time. This will be so beneficial, regardless of what you do. If you want to imagine your life over the next year and all of the new possibilities, or remember the good times and cry your way through an album or nine, it's all healing.
You extroverts out there, I'll speak on it even though I have no first hand experience, but, remember that journeying on the road is not just a sole venture. There are tonnes of travelers anywhere you go, and you know what they want? The same thing you do- they want connection, friendship and the knowledge that other people like them are out there enjoying the life that they're given.
So find these people, whether it's the three German girls in your hostel or an elderly man fixing a motorbike on his driveway, and introduce yourself. Remember, there are no yesterdays on the road.
And in the words of the guitarist and singer that locked himself in the cabin-
"I'd rather forget and not slow down, than gather regrets for what I can't change now."
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