After sharing pictures of myself away on vacation on Instagram stories, a follower DM’d me and asked if I was alone.
I was, as is often the case.
I travel a lot. It is a part of my lifestyle. Sometimes my children join me on these trips, though the majority of the time I’m alone. I have always traveled solo, as well as extensively with my family, and since the divorce, I would say I travel even more.
I was bitten by the travel bug early and have always enjoyed taking trips. However, after the demise of my marriage, it was healing and therapeutic. I view travel as one of the things being restored in my life.
In my eyes, part of my ex-husband’s betrayal was that he traveled with the woman he committed adultery with. Not only did he travel with her, but he took her to places that were special to us a couple and as a family.
Not long after discovering my ex’s infidelity it came to light that a family trip he skipped out on under the guise of having to work, was so that he could instead take a trip with the woman he was cheating with. He dropped our daughters and I off at airport departures, picked her up in arrivals and then went with her on a romantic rendezvous to one of our special places. This incident, along with him ditching me on my birthday a few weeks before that to be with her, was like a knife to my heart. However, I was not going to relinquish my joy of travel, and along with my birthday, it was something I was determined reclaim.
The ability to continue to travel feels like a gift from God. During our last family trip together to Rome (that my ex-husband came to late because he was using some of the time his family was away to be away with his girlfriend), I wrote a bucket list with places I would go when we were divorced. Less than a year later I came across the list while on a plane to Argentina and scrolling through my iPhone notes. First thing on the list: “Argentina (alone) wine, steak & tango”.
I wasn’t actively looking for a ticket to Argentina, but saw a really good deal and booked it. I had totally forgotten about the list.
But God didn’t forget. And He still hasn’t forgotten.
God has continued to bless me with opportunities to travel, marking off many other destinations on that bucket list, and learning important lessons along the way.
- The Journey Didn’t End -The honeymoon may have very well been over, but my life was not. I took a page from my ex’s book and dropped him off at departures and continued on to my next destination and haven’t looked back.
- Fosters Independence – A few weeks after I filed for divorce I took my daughters on vacation. We went on the road trip the family had gone on 8 of the past 10 years and which included one of our special places where my ex took his girlfriend. It was bittersweet. I always rode shotgun; managing the kids, snacks and in-car entertainment. But this time, for the first time, I drove (my ex always felt the need to be in control of the driving), and it was empowering. It was also symbolic that I was now in the driver’s seat of my life and in control of where I was going.
- Spiritual Renewal – Travel serves as my mountain top where God often reveals things to me; it was while traveling that God revealed to me that He wanted me to share my story; that even though I didn’t have a husband to cover me, that He, my Heavenly Father, was my cover, and that my heart would go on.
- Distraction – In the early days, being in a different environment was a welcomed distraction from the maddening divorce process. And while I would sometimes find myself thinking about and wallowing in the situation, there was too much beautiful and to many interesting things to see and do in a different city to keep my thoughts on the failing marriage for very long.
- Reclaim Old Places – I was intent on reclaiming places we traveled to together. It was an act of defiance and a matter of pride. If those places held such little sentimental value to my ex that he could go there with the woman he was cheating with then I was determined to override any romantic memories I had and revisit places without the rose-colored, heart-shaped glasses and enjoy them on their own merit.
- Discover New Places – I did a new thing and traveled to new places, many of which he didn’t seem particularly interested in going (he was a creature of habit and liked going back to the same places). There are plenty of places I enjoy re-visiting, however, it’s a big world with lots of new places I want to discover.
- Self-discovery – I’m single, and my ex-husband and I share custody and school vacations, so when I have the opportunity to travel alone I jump at it. It allows me to do what I like, eat where I want and to just simply discover and embrace the new me.