As they say, misery loves company. It’s been a little over 2 weeks since my 3 year relationship ended, it was painful. Describing my heart as ‘broken’ would be an utter understatement.
I’m currently writing this in my shared dorm hotel room in Rome, Italy. It’s my first day here and despite the fact that I wanted nothing more than to be thousands of miles away from the place where the heartbreak happened, it seemed like loneliness found my itinerary and decided do sabotage my soul-searching-solo-trip.
However, (thankfully) I experience moments of clarity where I realise exactly why I’m doing this trip and the lessons it will teach me after a whole month of travelling Europe alone. I feel like I have a devil and an angel on my shoulder feeding me with light and darkness – making me feel even more lost than before. Here are the thoughts a broken hearted girl has when she travels on her own for the first time:
1) What The Hell Am I Doing
In all honesty, this thought occurred to me 3x in an hour from the moment I packed my bags until I waited for my pizza order in a restaurant.I had the typical “This is crazy, what was I thinking?!” and genuinely consider staying in my hotel bed for the rest of the trip listening to ‘Gravity’ by Sarah Bareilles. But then my margarita pizza arrives and I think “Ah, this is exactly why I’m here.”
God bless the fresh margaritas in Rome.
4) This Is The Bravest Thing I’ve Ever Done
I’m a 20 year old student who is travelling for a month. Venturing out to the world of the unknown; leaving my comfort zone, support system and my home behind at such a vulnerable stage in my life – some can call it irrational and stupid… But I call it, BRAVE!
3) Am I A Couple Magnet
This one is an infuriatingly bitter reason.
I sat next to a couple on a plane who was caressing and kissing each other the whole way through.
Actually, there’s nothing wrong with that – I’m just as bitter as a lemon right now.
2) It Feels So Good To Be Away
I managed to construct my mini version of hell in my home town in Kent. Every corner of every street would trigger memories of me and him, I would be strolling peacefully then I would see that road we walked singing in the rain, or that particular bench in that park where he broke up with me for the 17th time and left me crying. I wanted nothing more than to be away from the place where the heartbreak happened.
Rome consists of deteriorated buildings and architecture that has still stands so beautifully today. It’s seen as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and that’s no wonder why. It’s perfect for the heartbroken; it reminds us that even through years of destruction, it has managed to stand strong and become a legendary, beautiful attraction.
5) I’m Going To Eat My Feelings Away
I’m thinking and feeling too much.. I’m in Rome! NO – this cannot happen.
Okay, I’m going to put myself in a self-induced pizza coma. Yep, that sounds like the perfect cure.
*2 whole pizzas and a serving of pomodoro pasta later…*
I can’t feel my feet… It feels so good.
*tops it off with 3 scoops of gelato*
6) I Have The Freedom To Do Whatever I Want Now!
Coming out of a very controlling and manipulative relationship, freedom has never tasted so sweet!
I can talk to who I like, I can eat whatever I bloody please, I can come home whenever I want and I have the freedom to drool over the bearded Italian men! I feel like a bird that’s escaped its cage after years of imprisonment!
7) I Miss My Dog, I’m Booking A Flight Back Home Tomorrow
I even went as far as typing in ‘Flights to London’ on Google! But trust me, doing that is like running a marathon and stopping right before the finish line.
Missing the familiarity of home is one of the hardest things about travelling alone. But the best way to rid yourself from home sickness is to keep reminding yourself of the amazing adventures ahead of you.
8) That Breakup Was Definitely A Blessing In Disguise
If my heart didn’t get broken then I would never have taken this radical step to travel out on my own and do some soul searching. I would never have found a reason to find myself again, and to bring back the happy character that I lost in a toxic relationship. I am now a firm believer that everything happens for a reason; that reason may not seem clear at first – but everything comes with time and determination. My Grandad said to me, “take this as a lesson from God to start changing your life”. And that is exactly what I’m doing. And even at the dark moments, I still manage to find the light and thank him for the life I am living now.
To all you broken hearted girls (or boys) out there, here is a little message from me to hopefully make your day a little better:
The more you feel the loneliness, the more you accept the loneliness; the more reasons you find to why you are where you are right now. It hurts because it was real. It hurt because it mattered to you. But it ended for a reason, now it’s your turn to transform a terrible chapter in your life into a an amazing recovery story that you won’t ever get tired of telling over, and over again.