People travel for all kinds of reasons, but often one that drives them to make the huge decision to go it alone is heartbreak. The desire to be independent and free after big changes in your personal life can be the perfect motivation to go and get lost in the wilderness somewhere and never return. Something that starts out as an escape from the harsh realities of life can soon blossom into something so incredible that you'll never believe you haven't been living like this all along. I've met so many people on my journey who had been forced to take a long hard look at the way they were living their lives after a long term relationship blew up in their faces. What really amazed me about it was how healing travelling could be for these situations - the combination of excitement, experience, culture and a reignited zest for life was the perfect way to get over heartbreak. Time passes so slowly and so quickly at the same time - simultaneously you will feel like you've been away for no time at all and yet so much will have happened, changed and affected you. It's a perfect way to get over someone.
For those whose trips aren't fuelled by the desire to escape the relationships dramas of back home, we all know the potential for a holiday romance is never higher than when you're young, free, single and backpacking on an extended trip. We may flat out deny it to our friends back home but the idea of a little holiday romance is one we all fantasise about while lazing on golden sandy beaches, or while cruising over ocean waves in one of the most romantic settings in the world. When all you meet are interesting people with a story to tell, a spark in their soul and an adventure underway, it's not surprising that most people seem to meet someone pretty amazing while on the road. I have actually met several couples since travelling who say they found each other along the way after setting out solo, fell madly in love and haven't looked back since. But whether that moment lasts for a night, a few week or months, or a lifetime, each fling is as special as the last. Those romances teach us so much more than relationships at home because they push us out of our comfort zone, takes off the pressure of society's eyes and gives us a freedom to be who we really wanted to be all along.
12 signs you've fallen in love while travelling:
- You've gone from being that fiercely independent girl who don't need no man, to a slightly softened version of yourself who finally admits it was nice to have them around.
- You used to be that person who complained about couples who felt the need to spoon on one bunk bed but then you spent every night spooning in one - hypocrite!
- You got annoyed when people called them your boyfriend or girlfriend, you couldn't deal with labels and yet you had taken on the roles with ease.
- You still can't believe it happened - they just came out of nowhere and disappeared as fast but even months or years later the memory brings a smile to your face.
- You've had to wave someone you've known for just days or weeks off with tears in your eyes and feeling like you've known them forever.
- You make all these big plans to travel the world together and do all these exciting things together knowing it's likely they'll never happen - but know that doesn't matter.
- You learn how to say all sorts of rude things in another language - key phrases of course.
- Moving in together after just a night or two seems pretty normal, especially if you're in Asia and can afford your own bungalow.
- You know you've formed friendships for life with these people - you've both been through something so intense together and that this will forever be treasured by both of you.
- You know that what you had together would be dismissed as a fling or holiday romance back home, and possibly never would have happened with the eyes of the world on you.
- Feeling this way about someone at this point in your life has healed a part of you that you didn't know needed healing.
- You never said goodbye, you just said see you later and knew you would.
This post was sponsored by Durex and if you liked this post, you'll love this list of the Mediterannean's top ten nudist beaches they created. Fancy something a little cheekier? Head to this one instead.
Have you fallen in love on your travels? Had a holiday romance that turned into something more?
All photos by Madeleine Ko.