Riding the ferry in Sydney Harbour

 Traveling alone in the big, wide, world.

It is true, one of the real reasons why I suddenly started traveling was because I was dumped. This isn’t a post that I had ever planned on writing. Not only because I find getting dumped slightly embarrassing and traumatic but mostly because I never wanted anything to do with him again after we broke up. Nor did I want him to be the reason for the awesomeness that would soon come in my life.

3D glasses and a tambourine!

 Being awesome, obvi.

I have seen posts written by Ayngelina “The Year I Walked Away From Love”, and Liz How Blogging Saved Me – Breaking up to Travel and other travellers that focus on making the decision to break up with someone to follow their dreams to travel. I wanted to shed light on the other side of the relationship. The dumpee. I have been the dumpee in every relationship I can remember, never being the dumper.

Growing up I traveled a fair bit with my family, never going any further than Canada or the US. I had always dreamed of seeing the world, visiting Australia to see the koalas and so on, but in my head I never had a plan of when and if that would happen. I would finish my film degree at NSCAD, work in the Film and TV industry and that was all I knew and planned. Because I had this boyfriend I didn’t see a need to plan any further.

It was one of those relationships where you either hangout with his friends or her friends. For some reason I let myself become the girl that thought he was my everything and sadly ignored my friends to hang out with him and his friends. Something I now regret greatly, but thankfully I have some great friends who forgave me for it.

I had my first taste of European travel in April 2006. A 22 day “school trip” with my University around France. I had planned it for a while and was excited to go. A week or two before I left, he broke up with me for some reason that I can’t remember but while away he realized his “mistake” and by the time the trip was over he was picking me up at the airport.

first trip to Paris

 My first trip to Europe / first taste of freedom?

Over the summer of 2007 our relationship became a bit strained and there was this girl that was around more often then I would of liked. Then after one night at the bars we fought about it. I won’t go into the details, but a week later I was single and he told me I was crazy for thinking anything about her.

We haven’t spoken since.

A month later they were dating. (Later engaged and now married. See, I’m not crazy.)

Two months later I was on a flight to Europe for the second time and, even though I was incredibly distraught (as you are at 23 when your 4 year relationship is lost) this trip helped me learn a lot of things about myself, who I am/was and a bit about what I wanted in life. It was hard to see then but I know now, that I was never going to marry that guy. I’m pretty sure I liked the idea of having a boyfriend more than anything. It hurt a lot, but I have grown A LOT since then, I’ve become a better person and have lived an amazing life.

I AM living an amazing life.

That trip to Europe in 2007 after the break up is still one of my favorite trips to date. I made so many awesome new friends from around the world that I am still in touch with now. That trip inspired me to keep traveling and was when I  became diagnosed with the travel bug.

Gondola in Venice

 My second visit to Europe on a trip that changed my life forever, for the better.

It wasn’t my decision to break up, but it was my decision to travel and have a better life. I’m proud to say I’m no longer traveling the world because I was dumped but now because I’m in love with travel. Someday on my travels I hope to find my Prince Charming somewhere in this world. I’m waiting. If you know him can you please tell him to hurry up?

I want to hear your stories about what inspired you to start traveling. Please leave a comment below or shoot me an email! cailinoneil (at) travelyourself.ca