HOW TO DEAL WITH A BREAK UP WHILST TRAVELLING
You and your partner want adventure and to travel, so you decide to shake things up and move abroad. Fast forward a year or so later, past the trials and tribulations of securing a job and travelling the world together, you soon realise you are no longer in love. The adventure now seems less sweet and the thought of staying with them makes you want to jump on a flight to Paris and never return. So how do you end your relationship when you’re a thousand miles from home?
BE HONEST AND KIND Being overseas and away from family and friends only heightens a breakup, so be honest about your feelings and be kind. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with your partner for a few months or a few years, you liked them enough to move overseas with them, so don’t treat them with disrespect. Unless something really dramatic has happened (stealing, cheating, lying), don’t wait until they’re out to pack your stuff together and move out. Be upfront and honest. And don’t act like a jerk hoping the other person figures out you don’t want to be with them - rise to the occasion and be honest.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY Breaking up in general is overwhelming, let alone being overseas whilst it happens. The best way forward is communication and I mean, good, honest communication. No games, all honesty. Starting the break up with “we need to talk” is a fail – hello heart palpitations. Try something on the lines of “I’d like to share some thoughts’. From there, speak honestly and actively listen to what your partner also has to say about the situation. Don’t play the blame game. Feelings will be ripe – anger, confusion, laughter, frustration, disappointment, tears – anticipate it all but do your best to understand and to be understood. That said, if your partners starts acting irrationally or abusive (verbally or physically), it’s totally ok to back away, leave and give the situation space.
DON’T CONTINUE TO LIVE OR TRAVEL TOGETHER Once you’ve had the conversation, you should politely pack your belongings and leave – if not the city, then a friend’s house or another hotel. What every break up needs is space. Do not continue to live together or to travel together. Easier said than done when there are joint accounts and travel expenses to consider, but the tough decisions you make in the early stages will make the break up a hell of a lot easier in the long run. Trust me – be strong and move out or leave your current travel plans.
FRIENDSHIP, REALLY? Let’s be honest. It’s really nice to think that you can be friends with your ex but you already have so many friends, so why do you need one more? Whilst it can work and historically for many it has worked, it’s best to avoid being friends right away. Give yourself some space. I recommend having absolutely no contact (unless absolutely necessary) for a few months after the break up. This is much easier when you’re travelling because you can absorb yourself in a new culture, lifestyle and meet so many new people this way. It’s refreshing and many of the reasons why I love travelling. Soon you’ll stop thinking about your ex and start thinking about a new crush, which incidentally is the best feeling in the world!
LOVE YOURSELF FIRST One of the greatest things about a break up is that you get to love yourself wholly and do whatever the hell you want. If you want to watch The Notebook three times in a row, do it. If you want to eat a whole block of chocolate in one sitting, do it. If you want to go solo camping, do it. If you want to book a holiday, do it. If you want to kiss someone, do it. If you want to go skydiving, do it. If you want to throw yourself head first into work, do it. If you want to tell that crush from a couple of years ago that you like them, do it. If you want to buy a new car, do it. If you want to book a flight, do it. If you want to go out and party, do it. And guess what? You don’t have to answer to anyone, but yourself. It’s nice for a change!