For many people, the first instinct after a break up is to just move on by throwing yourself headfirst into a new relationship. We often think that dating new people will be the strings that pull ourselves back together, but it’s often not the case; this isn’t to say that a rebound relationship can never lead to us meeting ‘The One’, but usually viewing a relationship specifically as a rebound from the get-go is a pretty good indicator going into it that that’s all it will ever be.
That being said, there is another (in my opinion, better) way of collecting yourself back together after a breakup that will help the mending process before you start dating again: travel.
First off, being away from your hometown removes you from the situation enough, where there are no outside sources (i.e., your ex him- or herself, his or her friends, immediate reminders of things you used to do together, etc.) constantly prompting you to bring the breakup back into your mind time and time again. In other words, removing yourself from the places you spent most of your time prior to the breakup makes it a little bit easier to collect your thoughts and sort things out with a clear head.
Going on a rebound vacation somewhere new enables you to sit back and reassess the situation at hand without being pushed into any specific thoughts or ideas due to people or places that would otherwise have been surrounding you back at home. The same people or places that may sway you into coming to conclusions that you may have not come to on your own.
You can now contemplate the situation on your own before you eventually return home to hear the opinions of other people – even those who completely mean well, but who just aren’t hitting the nail on the head.
Though that is a definite perk, doesn’t relaxing stress-free, or going on a complete adventure for a week (or longer!) sound like the perfect post-breakup retreat? Bring a friend or two who are completely aware of the situation at hand, someone who will help keep you from moping or getting angry at the breakup situation to a minimum. Instead, these friends should help take your mind off it by offering opportunities for new experiences on your trip.
This vacation will give you the chance to rekindle your passion for life, make you excited about trying new things, and hopefully by the time you’re ready to return home, a greater sense of self-assurance that you can handle whatever will be awaiting you there.
Gaining new experiences through travel often equates to the desire for new experiences in other area of our lives; this may include the continuance of seeking adventure in our own hometowns, and perhaps even looking for new characteristics in future relationships. In doing so, we can prevent ourselves from becoming stuck in the ‘same old’ relationship. This isn’t to say that we’re otherwise seeking out destructive characteristics in our relationships, but even only those that do not mesh well with our personalities. Instead, we should try to seek out a new kind of person, explore new personality traits in others, and not settle for the redundant ‘routine’ of dating that obviously has not full been working for us up until this point.
My first rebound vacation occurred about seven months after my first major breakup. I travelled to Indian Shores, Florida (coming from Toronto, Canada), and although I felt like I had garnered enough acceptance of the situation leading up to that point, or matured from it as a whole (which, I still think that I did, prior to the trip), I nonetheless experienced daily reminders of my ex in Toronto. Even to some small degree, he had crossed my mind almost every day. This isn’t to say they were happy or sad memories, but the thought of him still repeatedly popped into my head like clockwork. During my eventual rebound vacation, I waded into the ocean and I suddenly realized what I had been holding on to. As cheesy as it may sound, I stood there in the vast expanse of the Gulf of Mexico and focused on the water lapping against my skin, the sound of the waves crashing around me, the sensation of my body swaying in the currents. Eventually, those were the only thoughts that consumed my mind. It was a meditative state that allowed me to exhale the pain of heartbreak and inhale a cleansing new beginning.
Doing this several times daily, along with the new experiences of traversing amongst the palm trees, exploring the town, and even cooking up new dishes in the condo I was staying at… these all helped in purging me of the ‘same old’ routine I had found myself in, post-breakup. I was that much more ready to seek out new experiences when I returned home and beyond excited to do so.
Though eventually I would have likely eventually come to the same conclusion, removing myself from the city — the country even — was an excellent way to speed up the whole process and to help me find a level space in my mind once again.
How have you dealt with heartbreak in the past? What’s your fix? Let me know in the comments!