“Traveling and Freedom are perfect partners and offer
an opportunity to grow in different directions. ”
― Donna Goldfein (Quote found on journeywoman.com)
I recently posted a summary of some of the best places on earth I’ve had the privilege of visiting. That certainly brought back so many great memories and others not so great.
There is one particular event in my life that really changed and helped me to become who I am today: a broken heart. Now I normally don’t share such personal information but this is something that has been going though my mind for sometime and needed to write down.
Before we go on, I must thank two of my favorite travel writers that I admire and respect, Andi @AndiPerullo and Maria @latinAbroad. They inspired and gave me the courage to write my own story after I read their heartfelt posts.
Let’s go back in time, 14 years to be precise. I was seeing someone back in my university days. One day, out of the blue, the person left without saying goodbye. I couldn’t believe it or understand. This is a person I knew for almost 3 years!
I had to swallow my pride & hurt. I needed to find out what was going on. So I called his house and someone told me he was gone on holidays to the Caribbean. That was the last attempt. What a nice Christmas present! No need to tell you that Christmas cheers turned into holiday tears.
I lived some of the darkest days, driving myself nuts trying to figure things out. It took me quite a while to recover. In fact, I spent the next year mourning in silence, went about my business and focused my attention on my studies & work. I finally graduated and had a great opportunity to work for the government. That was the best job EVER!
So I diligently saved my $ and planned what is now known as one of the best trips of my life. Going to Europe for 2 entire months was the ultimate dream coming true! Hard work and dedication indeed paid off.
Preparations for the biggest adventures kept me so busy that I even forgot about the pain. Everything fell into place and things happened so fast!
My excitement grew as I booked my 1st transatlantic flight Montreal (YUL) -Newark (NWR) – Gatwick (LGW) (All with Continental Airlines) and received my Eurail Global pass in the mail. Everything was set.
For the next couple months I visited 12 countries in total! It seems unbelievable to me now. How happy and grateful I was for being able to be there and see things first hand!
Pictures do speak a thousand words…:)
I stood in awe, simply couldn’t believe I was admiring world-famous landmarks I had only seen on TV (I’m a self-confessed Travel Channel addict), books or magazines. It was incredible, unforgettable! I checked off things from my bucketlist.
Every single country was special but most particularly the culture, food and it’s people who played a major role in my recovery.
I crossed paths with some of the most amazing persons, whether it was on the airplane, train or on the street. A few people were God-sent, like the German guy who sat next to me on the train. He was surprised that I spoke German and we had a long chat until we arrived in Berlin. He was so sweet, he even called a cab for me (a Mercedes Benz of course) and took me to the reception desk at the youth hostel. Then there was the funny Argentinean who became my best friend while in Amsterdam. *What happens in Amsterdam stays there* ha ha My friend in Switzerland, who took me on a phenomenal road trip through the alps! Not only he made me laugh about my situation but made me realize that it wasn’t my loss but the other person’s. My Italian friends made me laugh, dance & experience la dolce vita (in Milan, Venice, Florence, Bologna, Rome, Napoli & more) and last, but not least, my new friends and familia in Barcelona. My trip couldn’t have ended in a better place, in one of the best and vibrant cities on the planet. Leaving was the hardest thing but it wasn’t a goodbye. I will visit you again!
Come to think of it, this painful heartbreak was definitely one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I now consider it as a blessing (even though it hurt like hell and left me in tiny pieces back then). I got back on my feet, gave myself courage & strength to go on with my life and enjoy it to the fullest. They say that things happen for a reason right?
I have to thank Joe (his real name) for everything he taught me. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. You earned your PhD.
Loving you as much as I did truly changed me…forever. It transformed and made me stronger for the next adventures in my life. It was necessary but I realized it only later.
“I became strong when you set me free. And I became even stronger when I let you go.”
(Do you think that’s where the story ends? Think again! Part 2 has more punch & will soon follow* Stay tuned
Do you have comments and stories to share?
If you do, feel free to comment or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading.
I’ll be back soon!
Much l♥ve always,