Traveling on my own after his Midlife Crisis saved my sanity and helped me find the happiness I'd lost during the marriage.
Let the adventure begin!
I am aware that I might be addressing this with more significance than it warrants, but I just know that I needed to do this. I needed to prove to myself that I am functional in my own right, that I can face up to my fears, that I can follow my dreams and, above all, that I am enough.
I am traveling on my own!
Little me out in the big wide world. Jumping on a big airplane and symbolically waving goodbye to all my troubles. Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that I am just parking them until my return, but, well, out of sight out of mind! I have every intention of using the next five days to cleanse my mind, a tabula rasa where I can hopefully write my next chapter. The best chapter.
A little over a year ago, after twelve years together, I was left for another woman.
While he was playing rainbows and unicorns with some bimbo whose only redeeming feature was to be present and available when that pesky midlife crisis reared its head, I was playing survival with three kids, a full-time job, no family to speak of and a suddenly gone and missing future.
I was heartbroken, for sure, but not beaten. I still got up every day, fed and dressed my children, took them to school and went to work. Looking back, this routine probably saved my life. The lack of options, the impossibility of hiding under a duvet until I felt vaguely human again, was, in retrospect, my saving grace. I found a strength I didn't know I had, and a fondness for myself I certainly didn't have before. I was a true survivor.
My renaissance after he left took the shape of travel.
I have always loved traveling but I had to suppress this passion during my marriage due to his lack of interest. Three months after the event, I took my children to the New Forest of England. That long weekend was a symbolic promise to myself, and my children, that life was not over. Far from it! Scotland followed, and driving over those tortuous mountain roads with three kids under the age of ten was an act of courage that would have been unimaginable just a year before.
Having scored those two little victories, I got braver and bolder. I booked for us to go to the Middle East. To be on a seven-hour flight with a three-year-old might not be everyone's idea of fun, but the whole trip was incredible. A true eye opener into a culture I knew nothing about. A more chilled Mediterranean cruise followed, and what fun we all had!
Through my travels, I was healing and getting my confidence back.
I was, in fact, feeling more self-assured and alive than ever. This new aura seemed to rub off on other people and my circle of friends grew and grew. And in this whirlwind of social activities and life affirming experiences, I met him. So right for me in every way but, for the purpose of this article, a fellow traveler. We started off swapping travel notes and it wasn't long until we were planning our first trip together. We are about to embark on it and we are as excited as little kids.
However, before I started building memories with someone else, there was something that I needed to do: I had to travel on my own. I am writing this on a plane, Boston-bound, and I am trying to put into words how far I have come. Miles and miles.