Traveling After a Break Up

Brooke Saward founder and editor
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“I started following your blog a few months ago when me and my ‘at the time boyfriend’ were talking about traveling together. Now we have broken up and I still want to travel….what should I do?”


At the time of publishing this post I am overseas solo on a year-long trip

Last week I was contacted by a reader who expressed how appreciative she’d be if I could address this in a blog post. While I can’t answer everyone’s requests at the moment, there are a few that I feel I could really elaborate on/help out with… this is one of them.

For the sake of starting everyone on the same page, here’s a little background history on my situation…

I’ve had a total of two serious relationships – so I suppose that means I’ve had a total of two failed relationships. Looking back in retrospect, I can honestly say I believe you live and you learn. Also looking back in retrospect, neither of these guys suited me and I didn’t suit either of these guys. I’m not sure whether opposites attract or whether you should try to attract people with similar interests and life goals, and I don’t think it’s as simple as that either. For whatever reason, neither of these worked out.

After my first serious relationship I spent the following months doing your typical break-up routine. I went out more often in the first two weeks than I had in the previous year, I drank more than my body would have appreciated, and I began to take a fairly carefree approach to life. After a couple of months in this routine (if you could call it that), I began to realise I was losing sight of myself – who I was, who I wanted to be, and what I should be doing to get to that point. So out of nowhere on a Sunday evening I booked a flight to Paris.

The following months were consumed by travel planning and I soon forgot – or more accurately neglected – how lost and confused I was feeling after I had just lost my best friend and first serious boyfriend.

When I got to Paris and started traveling around Europe by myself for the first time, I soon realised how easy, simple, and completely normal it was to stand on my own two feet. It wasn’t until I was about to fly home at the end of my trip that I even called my parents to hear their voice and say hello. While it wasn’t a quick way to fix anything, it certainly served it’s purpose.

Then, just last year in October I was overseas in Indonesia when my second serious relationship ended. The very fact that I was already overseas (by myself) when this happened was testament that this was not someone I should be in a relationship with. But alas, I booked a flight home straight away so that I could be around my family and friends in order to pick myself back up, put together the pieces, and start again.

Then, a short three weeks later I was due to arrive in Los Angeles for some blogging duties and my (now ex) boyfriend was supposed to accompany me. Knowing that I wasn’t ready to travel to the other side of the world on my own, I changed the tickets and took my dad along with me.

Why you should travel solo

So there you have it, three different scenarios regarding traveling after a break up…


1. Breaking up and traveling after a break up to move forward with your life and effectively start a fresh

2. Being overseas and being broken up with – and not being ready to travel after a break up

3. Breaking up and knowing you are not ready to travel after the break up


So my advice?

If you’re thinking about traveling after a break up, it would seem only realistic to conclude that you are in some way ‘ready’ to travel in order to move forward, start fresh, and rely on the only person who can make you happy – yourself. From my previous experiences, I can honestly say that yes, traveling after a break up is a good idea and a great way to clear your mind (and heart) and start a fresh. Before you do decide to take the plunge and travel overseas by yourself, you should honestly ask yourself the very simple question of…

Am I Ready?

If you can answer with at least 90% certainty that you are ready to stand on your own two feet, stop relying on someone else for your happiness, and wanting to move on with your life…. then yes, by all means plan to travel after your break up.

However if you are having doubts, consider planning a trip without booking it until you feel it is the right thing to do FOR YOU. Never for anyone else. Once you get to that point, traveling after a break up is one of the most rewarding and refreshing experiences you will ever encounter in your life.


Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below, I’m sure there are a few more of you pondering the same question!


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  • awanderlustblog@OUTLOOK.COM'
    September 24, 2014 at 4:39 am

    love this – good post, its interesting to hear about your life
    get out there and travel, a change is as good as a rest and a change of situation could be all you need

    July 6, 2014 at 9:54 am

    This is a wonderful post. While see romantic couples when you traveling solo can make you cringe a little, being solo definetely grown you and give a lot more freedom (especially without a clingy travel partner, ha!). I love the way you look at things, an old soul in 22, proof that traveling does has a good effect on you πŸ™‚

    June 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Wow! Thanks for this post! I feel sort of identified. I moved to Norway all the way from Argentina to be with my norwegian boyfriend. After being 11 months in the country with a stable job and things not working out between us, he broke up with me, 1 month before Christmas..I was devastated, lost and scared, since I was completely by myself and he didn’t have any empathy for my situation. Is today, almost 7 months later that I am still in Norway and I know that he wasn’t right for me and that I am SO happy this happened to me, because i learned to stand on my feet. It is very difficult at sometimes because you are far away from everything you know and without the person which was the main connection to the country you are living in, but at the end of the day, I’ve became more confident, discovered a lot about myself and became way more independent. Also, it has made me transform my pain into travel planning to discover the world. I’ve figure that traveling is what makes me the happiest. Now leaving to Prague on Saturday and then Amsterdam at the end of the month!

    I have started following your blog maybe 2 months ago, and i feel so so identified with your thoughts and yourself. You are so inspirational, and give me the energy to go on when i am having the expat blues.


    June 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I’m about to head off alone for a month – I got out a intense relationship three months ago and since have been trying to improve my life but just need to get away from the constant reminders and nervous glances when out thinking I’ll run into him.

    While I agree in this article so much with this “Also looking back in retrospect, neither of these guys suited me and I didn’t suit either of these guys. I’m not sure whether opposites attract or whether you should try to attract people with similar interests and life goals, and I don’t think it’s as simple as that either. For whatever reason, neither of these worked out.” I had two serious failed relationships also, both with people who just really didn’t fit with me.

    So, I’m off in one week and then coming home fresh minded and looking to start my career.

    Thanks for the advice!

    March 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I did my first solo trip overseas shortly after the breakup of a 6 year relationship… Looking back, it was the best thing I ever did. It wasn’t easy at the time but gosh I’m glad I forced myself to go on that trip. I learnt so much about myself, saw so many beautiful places and met so many great people. It put everything in to perspective for me and taught me to count my blessings. I had a wonderful two month trip around Europe, but boy I was glad to go home and see my family and friends again πŸ™‚

    February 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I love this article for its honesty and integrity. In my opinion, delving back into my life experience, get on that plane! After being in a relationship I think some people tend to be consumed in the world of ‘couple traveling’ and forget the beauty of ‘single traveling’ and the fun that comes with it! There’s no better therapy than having a harmless flirt with some locals, or fellow travelers, and your confidence will be boosted by your ability to do things on your own.

    February 13, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Definitely agree with planning a trip before/without booking!! Spent 18 months obsessing over Europe to distract myself, and now I can’t get enough of travelling (and being single). πŸ™‚