Empowering Trips to Take After a Breakup

After a breakup, we often look for ways to move on and heal. Under certain circumstances, travel can prove to be empowering and taking a trip could be just what the doctor ordered to begin moving on from heartache and kickstarting the healing process. While adventure, sunshine, beautiful scenery, a weekend of partying or playing tourist in a new place has many benefits, if you are open to it, your post-breakup trip could be remarkably transformational and about much more than just getting away from what’s been keeping you down.

Travel to: Europe 

Ways to make travel more empowering

Michael Bennett, Ed.D, co-founder of The Transformational Travel Council has done in-depth research on enhancing travel and identified seven essential steps for an empowering vacation experience. What Bennett has unearthed about travelling with intention can come into play whenever we go globe-trotting, but his insights are particularly useful for anyone taking a trip after a breakup. Take note:

  1. Be adventurous: To start with individuals possess a need for travel that will enable them to grow in some way or are going through a change.
  2. Enter the unknown: Next, they respond to that need by taking themselves into the unknown, that could be a new country or experience where they can disconnect from everything at home and spend time reconnecting with themselves.
  3. Being open to experiences: As an individual engages with a new environment, they remain aware of their expectations but inspire to be open to what comes their way and the journey taking its own shape.
  4. Challenge yourself: After a breakup, there can be cultural, social, emotional, mental and psychological challenges. Travellers will experience similar circumstances on the road. Bennet recommends embracing opportunities that go beyond comfort zones because this can lead to a shift in perspective.
  5. Engage: The authentic and meaningful interactions that travellers encounter on vacation are often at the heart of the transformational experience, this kind of engagement and pursuit is essential.
  6. Take time out for reflection: In the penultimate step of the journey, travellers reflect on the experience and draw meaning from it and create a vision for a life they aspire to and plan to make that vision a reality.
  7. Take purposeful action: The final step is launching into purposeful action. This action can take any shape, and it doesn’t have to be drastic, but ideally, it has the power to transform your life in some way (big or small) and directly, or indirectly the lives of those around you.

Take a solo trip

It’s a jarring thought, but being alone in an unfamiliar place, where you don’t know anyone or even the local tongue can be empowering. Being alone doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be lonely. At home, in our daily lives, we have lots of roles to fulfil, but how often do we truly get to live for ourselves? Even something as simple as choosing a restaurant on your getaway without having to decide with other people can be pleasurable.

While travelling by yourself at such a time has pros and cons, the positive benefits will outweigh any of the adversities, and you’ll find that we’re capable of so much more than we realise. Relying on no one but yourself, trusting your instincts, and being “out there” is an invaluable experience. You’ll learn so much about yourself as well as some rewarding life lessons from going beyond your comfort zone to being entirely self-reliant.

Solo traveller with a backpack stands in the middle of a crowded street

Focusing on an activity while travelling is a great way to discover new things | © Steven Lewis/Unsplash

Spend time with a community

When dealing with emotions after a breakup, feeling empowered while travelling runs the risk of turning into sadness or loneliness. A trip that immerses you in a community could be a therapeutic experience. A local homestay or spending time working on a project somewhere will give your trip even more purpose. It doesn’t have to be volunteering, you could also do a language course or teach, spend time on a farm, or perhaps your passions involve dancing and cooking. Either way, living somewhere for a couple of weeks and focusing on an activity is a great way to experience a country and discover new things. There’s also every chance that whatever you undertake on your trip becomes something which leads to purposeful action that can impact your life back at home.

Take a reflective journey at a retreat 

Sometimes we get lost in our relationships. Aligning the mind, body and soul is always rewarding, but self-reflection can also help to work through the thoughts and feelings that come naturally after a breakup. A retreat with activities such as yoga, meditation, therapeutic Ayurveda, and nature hikes can help to facilitate internal journeys. The group element of retreats is also useful for healing; many people feel lonely when a relationship ends but being around other people at a retreat can help with perspective.

There are also some incredible retreats out there, where you can do more than downward dogs. This Mind, Body, Spirit retreat in India includes soulful cooking classes, Mysore yoga and storytelling around campfires. Alongside vinyasas, many of these getaways also include activities like surfing or dancing, and on some, you can even go trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas. The main thing that all these retreats have in common is they can help form healthy habits to take back home.

Man sits in a valley looking out at a water body

Take yourself on a reflective journey | © Simon Migaj/Unsplash

Experience a festival or event in a different country   

Celebrating life in some capacity might be exactly what you need. A festival or event will put you in an environment where you can interact with locals and other travellers on a meaningful level, and you might end up having a blast. Imagine immersing yourself in the festivities of the annual tomato-throwing event La Tomatina in Spain, seeing the atmosphere of Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights) in India, or experiencing carnival in Venice? Festivals can be exhilarating and intense, so keep checking in with yourself and if you’re travelling solo, have a list of loved ones and friends you can chat to during moments where you find yourself feeling despondent.

Join a multi-day group tour

While it won’t cure your heartache, taking a multi-day tour is a hassle-free way to see new places and immerse yourself in different styles of travel, depending on what interests you. You could go island hopping in Asia or embark on a food tour through Italy, cycle through Central America or take a safari through Tanzania. The sky is the limit.

The best part of any group touring adventure is the experience of exploring the world with like-minded travellers from all over and discovering cities and stops on your itinerary. It’s not for everyone, but a trip like this will enable you to be more active and involved while travelling, as well as have the freedom to go off and explore yourself. Along the way, there will also be opportunities to form connections with people you meet, a chance for challenging pursuits and cultural experiences, basically everything you need for a transformative post-breakup trip.

A group of camel riders in the Sahara Desert, Morocco

Going on a tour after a breakup will help to broaden your horizons | © Vaida Tamošauskaitė/Unsplash

Challenge yourself physically and mentally 

A trip that is physically and mentally challenging has the power to make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Imagine reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, hiking the Inca trail or even doing yoga at the base of Mount Everest? Tackling something challenging can prove to be a liberating experience and something to channel your focus for some time while you are healing.

Go somewhere you always wanted to 

Is there somewhere you always wanted to go or something you wanted to do? If there’s any time to check off something on your bucket list and experience your independence, it’s after a breakup. You don’t have to go travelling for six months or race off to the other side of the world, but giving yourself the opportunity to do something that you’ve always wanted to locally or in a different country will be an uplifting experience, to say the least, and you’ll feel a sense of serious accomplishment.

A traveller prepares for their trip with a map and travel guide

Visit a place you’ve always dreamed of | © rawpixel/Unsplash

Travelling with intention can be transformative, allowing individuals to experience something meaningful at a time of loss and pain and go on an affirming journey with effects that will last long after they return home. Can one trip after a breakup change everything? Perhaps. Is it empowering to broaden your horizons after a breakup? 100%.