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Most people only talk about the good times in their lives: the laughs, the new friendships made, the successful relationships but for many cultures, and countries around the world, talking about failed marriages, broken relationships is frowned upon, or is simply taboo. Not to mention the very idea of solo travel after divorce; even at the best of times, solo travel is not seen as the best or popular option for society.

Chichen Itza Mexico
Chichén Itza, México

Many people, especially women, stay in marriages that do not make them happy because of what society and/or their family might think, or due to lack of confidence or fear of starting over, especially doing it all solo. While I am nobody to judge anyone, or to explain why some stay while others have the courage to leave, my goal with this post is to share from my experience. Know that sometimes things might not work out but it is okay to speak about them. As a women of color, especially a latina, divorce is definitely not something I saw often as a child, but I am certainly confident enough to say that, even though it hurt, divorce was the best solution for me and my ex-husband to handle our relationship, since we’d totally grown apart and we couldn’t make each other happy.

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To give a little background, I met my ex-husband during fashion week in New York. We were both in different fields, but in the same industry. We were married for a little over 3 years, though it took a little more time to actually get divorced. Anyhow, I am not here to talk about that past relationship, but I can freely say that since we did not have kids, neither we were unfaithful, it made everything easier to part as friends. The truth of the matter is that we simply had different life goals and we viewed life differently. That’s something that we did not realize previously, since we got married only 3 months after we met but whatever the case was, there are no regrets on my side. We are not currently best friends, like it felt in the beginning, but we are cordial and amicable, which was important to the both of us.

NY Lady in Red Moving around Town In Style - Long Island City, New York City
Long Island City, New York

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Anyhow, lets go straight to the main reason of this article, which is how solo travel after my divorce completely changed my life! It helped me to find myself, find the courage to move abroad and even eventually fall in love again. Yes, it is possible to fall in love again after divorce, even though back then I thought that that would never be the case. Boy, was I wrong!

Let’s start with the 9 Main Lessons and takeaways that Solo travel after divorce taught me:

·      To be more open and creative – When I started traveling solo, I learned to get out of my comfort zone, be more open to meeting new people, to experiment with new hobbies, new food, and to learns things from others.

Busteni, Romania

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·      That there is always a way to smile and to get up again, even after you fall – Regardless of how sad it was getting divorced at the beginning, I found that there were always other reasons to smile; I find that the new sunrises/sunsets always bring a different light and blessings to my life.

·      Go with the flow, not everything goes as planned –After divorce, I learned that not everything can be the way I planned in life, but that if you have faith and go with the flow, other doors will open. I experienced this many times during my solo travels. Angels, amazing opportunities and unexpected things happened when you least expect it.

·      Be more patient – When you travel solo, you learn to be patient, to wait for your turn. Sometimes I had to wait to eat because the restaurants were closed and everyone was taking a siesta, LOL. In solo travel, patience is important to find an address or to figure out what someone is trying to communicate to you in a different language. Lesson: Google Translate and maps become your best friends!

·      There are always people in worse places in their lives, and they still keep going. So, you can too!

Amber Palace / Amer Palace Jaipur india

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·      You learn that you are not alone – that the world is your oyster! There are many people around the world waiting to have a conversation with you or to meet someone new; new friends can be made anywhere.

·       That everyone has a story, regardless if they openly tell it or not. You will learn to listen to their stories, to share yours but, more importantly, to learn from their stories and perspective.

Selfie at the golden temple in amritsar

·      That there is always a helping hand and good people in every corner of the world – Not everyone is the same and you can find so much love and good when you travel solo. You will realize we all brothers and sisters, and might be more similar than you think.

·      There are always second chances – You can always fall in love again and start over. You never know what life has in store for you.

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My first solo vacation after divorced experience

Although I want to focus here on my first solo vacation during my divorce, which was to Europe, specifically Germany, my first trip after the decision to divorce was to return home to Puerto Rico, since I needed to cry on the shoulders of my mom and family. I needed that support at first, so I spent some time with my family, back in my homeland. Definitely getting the support from your loved ones helps you to heal faster, or at least it helped me. For you, it might be a friend, or a professional who might help you to heal. Regardless, although we are all different, everyone needs support during this time

Cologne, Germany / Photo Credit: Johannes Jaekel

It was when I was returning from Germany that I decided to skip the return flight home and see if I could live abroad. After traveling around 5 cities in Germany, I met someone who would become one of my best friends and even a roommate. I decided to get more adventurous leave some of my luggage in Berlin, Germany with him so that I could travel more light, since I was by myself. This trip took me around Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Sweden (where I even dated a guy who helped me to see that all wasn’t lost).

Prague, Czech Republic

The decision to skip my flight and start the process for an artist visa in Berlin meant that I was saying “I do” to Berlin and “See you later” to New York City. I then traveled through Eastern Europe, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

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I ended up staying in Turkey for several months and all I can say, yes solo females can travel to Turkey, and it was one of the best experiences ever. I learned so much about their culture, and about myself. I call Turkey my ‘soul country.’ It was the best decision I’d ever made!

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I returned to Berlin a new woman, full of hope and promise for the future. Then, something happened that changed my life as I knew it. I received an unexpected invitation to Austria to spend the Christmas Holidays there from someone I met online the first time I was passing through Austria (but we never got to meet in person). All I can say is that’s another story, which I am saving for another post. A story of second chances and a brand new journey that opened up for me.

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Dreams in heels in Salzburg Austria
Salzburg, Austria

If you are still reading this and you are going through a bad break up, or a divorce, cry all that you have to, let it out! This is not something that will be healed in a day or two, but if you are patient and work on yourself, on self-love, it will get better. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. A quick vacation, or solo traveling after divorce, might not completely heal you, but I know that it might help you to see things in a different light. Solo Traveling is super transformative and it just might be the best way to find yourself again. It worked for me!

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Solo travel after divorce: The vacation that transformed my life forever!
Solo travel after divorce: The vacation that transformed my life forever!

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