You may or may not know about my story; what set me on my perpetual trek around this big, glorious world of ours.
If you haven’t heard it before, here’s a recap.
In October of 2015, I was happily living my life in an Asian country with my then husband. I had started a travel blog, gained a bit of notoriety for it, and was doing some amazing sponsored trips around Southeast Asia.
Life was good…
Or so I thought!
It started as a normal day, I sent my husband off on a three-week business trip and settled into my schedule, which included some travel of my own.
Less than 12 hours later my life came crashing down with the force of an elephant sitting on a pea.
Via text (a mistaken text, I might add) I found out that, not only was my husband cheating on me, but he had also been patronizing prostitutes and had been a pretty frequent purchaser of online pornography.
One of his “women” was enjoying a first-class business trip with him when I found all this out.
As if that wasn’t enough to suck the air out of my lungs like a cosmic vacuum, I also discovered over a hundred thousand dollars in hidden credit card debt. (Thankfully not in my name!)
To say that I was shocked and traumatized is an understatement.
Realizing that I was soon to be homeless, jobless, and very far from family support, I took to my bed and decided that death looked a lot more attractive than what I was facing.
Let’s jump to now…because, as I’ve come to learn, believe in, and live my life modeled after, forgiveness and letting go are two of the greatest tools you can utilize to lead a life of pure joy and peace.
It’s been two years since my eye-opening life-changing event and I am now enjoying the happiest and most peaceful time of my life.
I’ll be 53 this year and I can honestly say that I have never known such joy as I do now.
Life is sweeter, colors are more vibrant, smells are luscious, and love is honest.
Why? Did I win the lottery? Find a new career? Exact revenge? Not even close!
Less than a year after my shovel to the back of the head event I set out to do what I loved most, for me and only me. I decided to travel.
I set out to live life my way, with no explanations.
My first big trip after visiting and healing with family was Italy where I spent almost three months healing.
I ate what I wanted, drank gallons of Chianti, ingested beautiful art, culture, and enjoyed new friends.
I’ve fallen in love with myself and with the world. I’m better because I’m truly me.
I don’t pretend to like what I don’t like. I don’t do what I don’t want to do. I don’t go where I don’t want to go. And I make no apologies for who or what I am.
It’s liberating, this way of life and I can’t be more grateful for it. I continue to learn about myself, what I will and will not accept, placing boundaries for what I want and don’t want in my life and I make no apologies.
I’m constantly asked how I took such a tragedy and turned it into a life filled with love and peace. My answer will always be the same.
Yes, unless you are willing to forgive, it is impossible to move forward with your own life or change the ending of your own novel.
I realized that it is my divine right to do, have, and be ANYTHING.
I’m responsible to make that happen and I discovered that I couldn’t make that happen unless I let go of all the shit that was dragging me down.
Hatred, contempt, jealousy, resentment…all of it is tantamount to an anchor the size of a blue whale hanging around your neck.
The energy it takes to be angry or resentful for something someone did to you is wasted. It doesn’t change what’s been done and no amount of mulling over what’s happened will make it any different.
I would much rather plan my next adventure, spend time with people who genuinely care for me, and create a life of worth; one where I can help others realize their own dreams like on the Tuscan retreat I’m a part of.
Perpetual travel is not for everyone; a lot of people don’t understand my choices but that’s not my concern. I only have to answer to myself and those that do love me understand and champion for my success.
The more I travel the more I heal. My problems are minuscule compared to others and spending time experiencing other cultures, eating other cuisines, enjoying art, music, and meeting new people is what makes me happy.
I’m not the same having seen so much of the world. I feel connected in a way I couldn’t have been had I stayed in one place fighting to fit in, make more money, buy a house, or struggle toward what society says is success.
Success for me is waking up every day with a smile on my face, with gratitude in my soul, and with a joy for life I would never have realized had my heart and life not been heel crushed into broken glass.
I’ve since become a life-coach and am asked all the time how to make life worth living.
Here’s my advice…
Stop giving the responsibility for your happiness to someone else. Take actionable steps forward every single day toward the life you want. Don’t run from your past or pain, run to your future and happiness.
The only way to overcome, to achieve, to succeed is to believe you can. Today is a beautiful day to start over. Rise up in spite of the pain, take a step, fear nothing, move mountains.
Why NOT you?!
Thank you for sharing your story Marie.
You are most welcome, Penny. I’m happy you enjoyed my post!
This resonates with me so much. Thank you for sharing and I would love to travel full time!
I’m so happy you found the article valuable. It’s my passion to share and help others realize that life is what you make it regardless of what cards are dealt you.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am a new widow, but my husband and I always traveled as much as we could. Now, I’ve discovered that returning to travel, at 66 years old, is what helps me heal.
I’m sorry for your loss, Cathy. But I’m thrilled that you continued with what you both loved and are having new adventures of your own. So many women feel that travel is for the very young! I appreciate more as a mature woman than I ever did when I was younger. Please do keep in touch, join my social media channels and, who knows, maybe our paths will cross somewhere!
How swift was your turnaround! When I discovered that of my husband I turned my attention to work and spent 21 years as a single parent in a blazing career in the Philippines. I have since retired and now have found my true love at the age of sixty in the US. That was ten years ago.
That’s fantastic Carol. Congratulations. For me, age is just a number, the soul is ageless! I’m so thrilled you found the love of your life. As you can see, everyone is different and there is no wrong or right “time frame”. The important thing is that we heal!
OMG, I can’t not even imagine what you went through. So glad that travel helped you get through that horrible time. You’re right, it takes so much energy and uses so much time being angry – time and energy wasted that could be used on other things.
I agree that wasting time on anger and revenge is a waste of time. I would much rather travel and enjoy my experiences than worry about what I can’t change! Thanks for your words.
A ruda awakening, I could say. Yet, something that seems to have been a blessing in disguise. Living your life next to someone who was just pretending to be your partner was in fact living a lie. I can only imagine what you must have been through and I wish I would never go through what you have to go through. However, you are the living proof that no relationship in the world can make us better or worse. We are who we are and sometimes, through life very unfortunate situations, we discover that we have a real value.
Yes, Anda, it was a rude awakening in more than one way. It was what needed to happen to set me on the journey of self-discovery, happiness, and true joy! We are stronger than we think we are for sure!
Quite the touching story but really good for you, it would have been so easy for you to go the other way and spiral out of control but you learnt to heal – And for some us, travel really is the best healing remedy. Over all the years I ‘ve traveled, I’ve found that it’s not just the places we see and experience but traveling has such a greater power, one of discovering ourselves and finding peace in ourselves. – Long may your happy travels continue for you 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind words, Amit. Yes, travel is truly the best way, at least for some of us, to heal, discover, and love ourselves!
I can’t imagine what you must have gone through after that terrible discovery. But how wonderful that you were able to heal through travel and are now using your experience to help others. It’s true in all situations in life – if you can’t forgive, you can’t move on.
It was through those terrible times that I learned what I wanted in life, Linda. And it was through forgiveness and travel that I healed and became who I was supposed to be!
Thanks for sharing something so personal. When you’re hurting and it’s by the person you should be able to trust the most, you do what you have to do to heal. It’s no one’s business how you do it or how long you take, as long as you aren’t hurting others. Good for you for finding a new happy place.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Kathleen. The joy is after the healing and discovering the joy!
Thank you for your vulnerability and your honesty. Opening yourself up in ways you never imagined is possible, thanks to travel. – Whether its healing and discovering yourself. Amazing to hear the outcome of this pain, challenge and joy, Bravo to you Marie, and thank you for sharing.
Dorene, thank you so much for your kind words. I would not have been able to make it so far had I not gone on a journey of self-discovery and awareness. I’m not finished, however, the healing continues as does the self-awareness!
Oh so sorry you had to go through that rough patch. I fully believe travel is healing. My travel blog too helps me fight the low moments of life.
Thank you for your kind words, Indrani. Travel has always been a way for me to deal with life’s low points. I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. 😊
Sorry to hear your story. I agree that forgiveness and letting go can turn your life around. Instead of wallowing in hatred and contempt, you were able to accept your fate, forgive and move on with your life. Glad to know that travels had been a vital part of the healing process. Such inspiring story!
Thank you for your kind words, Ash! I can’t think of a better way to heal but to travel and see the world.
Thanks for your story which gives me reason to travel more when I feel low. You are brave to have seen all this. Now travel more and leave the past baggage at home. Life is more beautiful outside our homes.
Himanshu, I’m happy you agree…travel does heal! I can’t imagine my life without it. Happy travels to you!