What is it that consumes wanderlust travelers? What is it that drives us to the unknown? For many, it’s a chance for change. We imagine all these wonderful new things we will see, experience and learn, maybe even heal a broken heart.
So what happens after the journey ends? There is a lasting effect that travelers experience that will change them for the better. Traveling reveals many aspects of yourself that you never knew existed. Alternatively, maybe, things you once knew but had long since forgotten.
Certainly, solo traveling is one of the best ways to heal a broken heart. Not only will it remind you how to be alone and happy with yourself but also how you’ve evolved after a heartbreak. In this place, in the after, with self-love, patience, perseverance, and acceptance a broken heart can be mended.
However, we mustn’t kid ourselves into believing we’ll be the same person who first set foot on the journey. By allowing yourself to think this notion is okay, you are ultimately sacrificing your personal growth. This is life, it’s messy, and we are tested and sometimes momentarily broken. The armor that shields our heart has been fractured. By accepting this vulnerability and deciding to embark traveling solo, you are opening yourself up to self-discovery and healing.
The danger that no one talks about is when you begin to heal while traveling, how do you continue to heal when you return home? What happens when you start to long for those faraway places you once roamed? This is the curse of being blessed with a traveling soul. One who is always searching and aching for their next adventure. You find yourself always yearning for those unknown places filled with people and cultures to be discovered. When you travel, you leave pieces of you behind in the people and places you encounter.
This is what creates space for those new memories to fill. Those pieces of us that we leave behind in a new found friend, a new love, a new experience all of these amazing memories will in some ways haunt us. We will miss them, we will miss who we were in those moments of our lives.
So what is there to do? The hard truth is, there isn’t a way to stop our sobering moments. We have to face them head-on. Everyone experiences sadness’s differently and at different times after returning home. A year and a half after leaving I often find my heart aching to be back in France, missing the happiness I found while roaming her streets and country-sides. What I, what we, can’t forget is without having these amazing beautiful life experiences, we would not have them to miss.
This is the other side of the traveling soul. Those of us who feel her call, feel we must travel to be free, to feel alive and to feel whole. Yet, it is these moments that also make us feel lost. But more than anything they are the moments that make us who we are.
“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life and travel leave marks on you. Most of the time those marks on your body on your heart are beautiful. Often though they hurt.” –Anthony Bourdain