Raising From the Ashes / Going through a breakup while backpacking

3rd July 2015

Going through a breakup with backpacking

As a lot of you know, my boyfriend of the last ten years and I parted ways a few months ago. People seem surprised at how well I have bounced back, but, in all honesty, this was one of the hardest experiences of my life.

Admittedly, sharing my personal life with you here on the blog was a bit of a gamble. I wanted to show the world how happy we were and inspire other couples to travel, but now that everything has fallen apart I feel I owe an explanation. It’s weird for me to have a diary of our relationship in the form of this blog that I have to face every single day. It’s like an unwelcome reminder of what used to be and what could have been. Did the traveling break us up?

Yes and no.

Mostly yes.

Richard and I were in our early 20s when we met as solo backpackers in a youth hostel in California and started dating. That’s awfully young to commit to a long term relationship. Scratch that, we never actually committed to a long term relationship. It occurred organically, as a result of being so good together. I truly felt I had found my soulmate for all those years. For me, this relationship had the stamp of foreverness all over it. I was fulfilled and there was no question to be had about any aspect of our relationship. It was perfect for me. Or so I thought.

Going through a breakup while backpacking

We traveled so well together – and not just this last year and a half. We always have – and this was a major asset to our relationship on top of all the great things we had going for us. We were unique: everything was smooth sailing for the whole ten years that it lasted.

And then everything came to an abrupt halt when we decided to travel individually for a month last February.

Ending was not something I had expected, planned or wanted, but it happened. And this is how it’s going to be, so I might as well come to terms with it. Plus, I have something beautiful to look back on, and I will cherish that forever. I feel like traveling fast forwarded the evolution of our life and thought process and this could be what brought us to an end so suddenly. And likewise, having to lick my wounds all by myself at the other end of the world was possibly easier.

Surviving a breakup while traveling

I remember me saying to someone just a few weeks before the breakup that, if ever anything happened to Us, it would be the end of me. And when it happened, I really did think that it was the end of me. I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t even think I could keep going. In fact, I decided not to keep going, but something inside me told me going home was a mistake. So I’ve been keeping going, or trying to, at least. My journey has taken on some unexpected turns and I have decided to roll with it. It’s an incredibly empowering feeling to know that you, and you only, can decide what you do with your pain. What’s the point of dwelling in the past when I am in this magical part of the world anyway? It’s a whole lot sunnier in the now. That said, I have no idea what I am doing. I have no plan. And you know what? It feels kind of amazing. Scary, yes, but also amazing.

It’s an incredibly empowering feeling to know that you, and you only, can decide what you do with your pain. What’s the point of dwelling in the past when I am in this magical part of the world anyway? It’s a whole lot sunnier in the now.

The backlog of blog posts I had that included Richard have now all been published. From here on in, this is My story.

Welcome to Only Amelie.

Change is good. I’m realizing how much potential for new experiences this has. Turns out, it’s not the end of me at all. It might in fact be the beginning. Many doors are opening around me and I have already stepped through a few of them. I am seeing a lot of scary and beautiful things through them. My next few months are already shaping up to be a lot different from my last 16 – and I am so excited to share it all with you!

Going through a breakup while backpacking or traveling

26 thoughts on “Raising From the Ashes / Going through a breakup while backpacking

  1. Franca

    It’s incredibly brave of you to openly talk about this. I like your attitude and how you are dealing with something like this that it can really change your life. All the best for this new chapter of your life 🙂

    Reply
  2. Sam

    “Only Amelie”. That’s kind of perfect. Good for you – looking forward to see where this next chapter takes you…but I think I already have an inkling! 😉

    Reply
  3. VeganBackpacking

    Good luck and enjoy! Vipassana might help you focusing on the now, so definitely give it a try 🙂 Enjoy Only Amelie + all the wonderful people you might meet.

    Lots of courage,
    Mittch

    Reply
  4. Will

    Change is good but always uncomfortable.

    Travelling alone is a totally different experience. My gf and I broke up 7 months into our trip, nothing acrimonious but we went our separate ways. The next 3 months were full of experiences I wouldn’t of had if I was part of a couple.

    All the best experiences start at the edge of your comfort zone.

    Enjoy.

    Reply
    1. Amélie Post author

      Thank you so much for your comment Will, I could not agree more. I hope you are still enjoying your newfound freedom also 🙂

      Reply
  5. Amadfudge

    Stay strong.

    I hope you continue to embrace the journey ahead and enjoy the beauty of solo traveling. Best wishes for your onward travels. 🙂

    I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had stayed in all the long term relationships. 🙂

    Reply
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  8. Jacqueline

    Just found your Blog and its Great. I also just had a breakup and it feels good to Know that I’m Not the only one. I Wish you a Lot of strength, it will get easier, i’m sure..
    I’ll ne travelling at least for the next 12months (also Solo and vegan) so i Hope to read More inspiring posts on your Blog during my travels 🙂
    Jacqueline

    Reply
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  11. Carlos Aboim

    Amelie,
    I was got here by one of your later posts! I am sorry for your lost, but as a “warrior” that you are you probably have already overcome that situation. I just want to say to you that I have passed the same situation as you and Life don’t end now! Enjoy the richness of being alone, go and do wherever you want without arguing is a bless.
    I want you to know that I am following your journeys with much interest, although I not see my self as a World Tourer… maybe just England (start planning) now and Europe later!
    Keep the good pace girl… that the winds of joy might be always with you!
    Cheers

    Reply
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  14. Anna Schlaht

    Wow. Thank you for your honesty and reflections. You’re very strong and definitely approaching things in the right way. Breakups are always, always hard, but people are stronger than they think they are, and there are so many possibilities that are now opened to you! I always thought the phrase “when a door shuts, a window opens” was super cliche, but I’ve found it to be true in most aspects of life.

    I wish you much happiness and look forward to following you in this new chapter of your travels!

    Reply
  15. Liv Askew

    Just found your blog (researching as I’m starting my own) and will definitely be following it from now!! Love it and love your attitude, it’s so brave of you to talk about these issues openly, and I admire you for that. Keep on going though! Xxxx

    Reply
  16. Marina Utami

    Being solo traveler can be a good change too! I remember that I had the same kind of experience. Well, travel can mend a broken, so they say!

    Thanks for sharing your personal story! It was so brave of you and looking forward to the “Only Amelie” posts! ?

    Reply

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