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Moving On: 5 Trips To Heal A Broken Heart

by Emily Dilling Nov 24, 2008
Travel can be a key component in healing a broken heart.

When I told my mom I’d been dumped she laughed at me. I wasn’t surprised by her callousness as I am more often the dumper than the dumpee and it seemed about time that karma bit back.

Friends proved to be more sensitive to my plight. I found that most of them assured me they wouldn’t dump me if I were their girlfriend- the only exception being the dude who actually did dump me when I was his girlfriend.

Moving on after a break-up is difficult but necessary. The healing powers of travel often prove to be effective and helpful.

I was left with the crucial phase of post-break-up recovery: packing up my emotional baggage and getting out of town.

Moving on after a break-up is difficult but necessary. The healing powers of travel often prove to be effective and helpful.

Here are some tried and true combinations I suggest to turn an owner of a broken heart into a roamer with a broken heart, which is much better.


Whether deserter or desertee, an island is a perfect place to try out a little self-imposed exile and get away in order to pull yourself together with the help of a loving sibling.

Though John Donne assured us that no man is an island, you sure feel like one after being cast away. Why not just embrace your island solitude with one of the people who knows you the best (and is obligated to love you, no matter how much of a bummer you are to be around).


A cabin is a land-locked island perfect for retreating and nursing wounds. The peace and quiet of nature, as well as its vastness, is a perfect environment to reflect and put things into perspective.

Bring the best friend along so she can remind you of all the hard times you’ve been through and survived. This time is no different. Go climb a mountain or something.

After that roast marshmallows or engage in some other campy thing and you’ll be feeling better before you know it.

Amsterdam+ESP Buddy

If you want to forget your troubles, as well as what happened a few minutes ago, get yourself to Amsterdam as soon as possible.

Bring along your “ESP” amie, the one who knows what you’re thinking just by looking at you and laughs at all the same things. You’ll quickly find life is not that bad after all and you might as well enjoy it.

Laughter as therapy usually works wonders, and Amsterdam is the perfect place to rediscover your sense of humour.


Unfortunately, break-ups rarely coincide with a boost in budget. If you’re broke and bummed, you still have options.

Think minimum price for maximum fun and huddle up as many pals as possible- pack some food and adult beverages, and have a picnic. Doesn’t matter if it’s cold outside…be creative.

Getting out of the house and having your friends around you for support is what it’s all about. Plus, picnics make everyone happy.

Open Road+You

They say misery loves company, but I would argue that misery also loves being alone in their car sobbing the lyrics to Bjork’s Hyperballad as it drives down an open road.

The newly single must embrace their liberty and freedom as well as the occasional loneliness that comes with it. What better way to do that than going on a solo trip to wherever your tires or the train tracks take you?

Make sure to pack plenty of music. I find classic rock songs of heartbreak highly therapeutic, especially when I think of all the people, from the Fleetwood Mac era to modern day, who have nursed themselves back to health by listening to the same ballads.

Although a weekend getaway is unlikely to completely cure your heartbreak, it will distract you from it long enough to see that things will eventually get better.

Travel has now become an integral part of my break-up recovery ritual. This time around I’m thinking of exploring North Africa…

Any trips we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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