I just got out of a four and a half year relationship. It was the biggest shock of my life. I needed a reset, so I decided to travel alone. Here’s what I learned.
Go towards the fear
Courage doesn’t mean not having fear, it means going into the unknown despite of all of your fears. I was so scared of being single. Of loosing everything I had known for over four years. But obviously, I’m still alive, and a lot more whole than I was leaving it to someone else to make me happy.
Going towards my fear strengthened my heart and gave me faith in myself and conviction in my decisions. It opened me up to things I didn’t know about myself, and made me realize that ultimately, nothing is ever as bad as we expect it to be.
When you want to do something but it seems scary, go for it. Only good can come of it. And even if the other side is worse, it’s still better than staying in the situation you were in, because otherwise you live wondering what could be.
I am responsible for my own happiness
Traveling alone, it was up to me to give myself the exact experience I desired. This is an amazing position to be in because you have to be completely sincere with yourself, which is actually quite rare. You learn to trust your intuition, to accept every situation, and to give yourself what you want, all of which nourishes self-love.
This in turn transfers to your everyday life so significantly. When you learn to give yourself what you need, you don’t wait for it from anyone else, and accept complete responsibility for every piece of your life. When we take responsibility for our own happiness, it exists complete and whole within us, and no person or circumstance can take it away.
Surrender to every situation and be present
Every time I had to make a decision to go to a new location, I really had nothing to base it on except for the fact that I had to keep moving. This resulted in a mini panic attack every time I booked a ticket anywhere.
To move away from the discomfort of having no idea what to expect out of my totally baseless decisions, I surrendered to every situation. This included not questioning myself, committing to fully observe every emotion I felt, and waking up each morning and putting a smile on my face.
Whatever uncomfortable emotion I felt, I recognized and accepted it, and every situation became really alive. When I felt unhappy, I actively changed my response from frustration to gratitude for the opportunity to do something that showed me more about myself than something I was totally comfortable with. This enabled me to be happy and relaxed everywhere I was, and helped me learn to really enjoy my own company.
To the rocks and the trees and the stars our life is nothing but the life of a fly, a blink of an eye. Yes, life is long, but it’s also meant to be lived, and if we don’t do what scares us, we submit to mediocrity, so I try to always remember these words:
‘…once one has tasted the joys of freedom and fearlessness, one never repents because then one knows what it means to live at the optimum. And even a single moment of that intensity is more gratifying than the whole eternity of mediocre living.’
Photo by Monika Majkowska