What better way to chase divorced-related blues away than with a trip? Getting away and doing something different is oftentimes just what the doctor ordered. Breaking routines, seeing something new, creating memories… it all helps you distress and rejuvenate. Whether it’s solo, with kids, or with a friend or companion, you can find a get-away to fit almost any budget.
Here are some ideas to get you started in planning:
Personally, I used to hate driving more than two hours. When I was married, I simply didn’t have the time or interest to get in a car. But after I split from my husband, I found driving cathartic and peaceful. My daughters would take their DVD players, a stack of movies, pillow and a blanket, and I’d have loads of “me” time. I’d call friends I hadn’t talked to in, like, forever. I’d look at the scenery, and if I noticed a sign that indicated something interesting off the freeway, I’d often stop and we’d check it out. As a result, we’ve discovered some really fascinating places that we would never have seen from an airplane. America is a beautiful country with all kinds of hidden wonders—you just have to be willing to search them out. What’s great about a road trip is that they can be as short or long as you want them to be and you can do it on a very tight budget. Just a few months ago, we were driving from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City and on a whim, I stopped at Kolob Canyon. I’d driven that stretch of road a thousand times but this was the first time we had ever pulled over. Wow, it was amazing!
Explore a New Country
I love planning trips where a passport is required. Experiencing new cultures is one of my absolute favorite things to do. And, depending where you go, I almost always come back so grateful for the things I have and a profound respect for the diversity of thought, lifestyles, and backgrounds. There are fabulous vacation deals if you’re willing to travel during off-season. If you do, another bonus is that there are almost no crowds. I once visited London in March. There were no lines anywhere. I went back to London the next year in August and, well, let’s just say that it was like being at Disneyland over 4th of July weekend. Yikes! I check Groupon travel deals constantly and I am stunned at how reasonable many trips can be.
Tour Your Own city
Become a tourist in your own city. Pick a museum, a hiking trail, or a historic park and learn something new. I once lived in Washington, DC and I was saddened that so many of my co-workers and friends had seen almost nothing in their own back yard. I vowed then and there that I would get to know every city I ever lived in. So far, I’ve done a fair job doing that. I currently live in Salt Lake City and I have a long list of places I’d like to see in this area. For every one place I check off, it seems I add four more. I have to say that I am never bored. If there’s a day where we have nothing going on, I simply pull out my list and we head out the door.
Visit a National Park
Each year, we take a road trip to a national park. Last year, we went to Moab, Utah and visited The Arches and Canyonlands. It was breathtaking. This summer, we are heading up to Yellowstone. I have yet to visit a park where I haven’t been stunned by its incredible beauty. Depending on where you live, there’s probably several national parks not too far away from you.
Cruising can be incredibly economical if you’re willing to be flexible and pick an indoor cabin. Plus, if you have children, it’s really fun for them. With kids’ clubs and lots of food and activities, it’s a no-brainer. Or, if you’re going with a friend, boyfriend, or even solo, it is a relaxing, stress-free retreat. Cruising isn’t for everyone but if you like to get dressed up, see some cool ports for a few hours, and don’t mind crowds, they can be very convenient.
Amtrak Across the USA
I had been on train trips in Europe but had never done the same in the USA. Why not? So a few summers ago, I purchased Amtrak passes for my daughters and me and we hopped on a train in Salt Lake City and headed east. We stopped in Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York, each for several days. It was really fun and different. We got to see a lot of the country while playing games, eating in the dining car, and reading. We even spent a few nights on the train, which is far more comfy than trying to sleep on an airplane. We took electric blankets and travel pillows and the rocking of the train put me into a deep slumber in no time. I would do Amtrak again in a heartbeat, even with kids.
Go to an All-Inclusive Resort
Years ago, I went to an all-inclusive resort in Belize. It is a great way to vacation. It has all the conveniences of being on a cruise, with none of the “cattle call” aspect and crowds that most cruises entail. These resorts typically include all your meals, beverages (some include alcoholic beverages, others don’t), kids activities (or some are adult-only), activities, and more. You never need worry about being nickel & dimed while on vacation. I highly recommend. Actually, the thought of sitting on a beach with a mimosa and magazine and soaking up some fresh vitamin D sounds heavenly right about now. I have seen some incredibly deals for all-inclusive resorts on Groupon and Living Social recently. If you’re on a tight budget, I think you might be pleasantly surprised on the many options out there.
I don’t know about you but when I go on vacation, within 24 hours I hardly remember the stresses I left behind at home. And when I do get back to my old life, those stresses and worries don’t seem quite as important as they did before I left. It’s why divorce and vacation should go hand-in-hand. The tougher the divorce, the greater the need for a get-away. Your sanity just may depend on it.