Can Travel Heal A Broken Heart?

“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…”
―Elizabeth Gilbert

This time last year, I had packed my bags and moved to the other side of the country, hoping to heal my broken heart along the way. I had just broken up with my ex-boyfriend, felt completely lost and had no idea who I was anymore. So, did travel heal my broken heart?

Well, not right away.

travel hawaii photography

It Can Be Lonely

The truth is, after my break up, I was so terrified of being alone. I wasn’t excited, or looking forward to getting to know myself on a deeper level. I was lonely and didn’t like the feeling one bit. Everything terrified me and all I could think of was how awful it was going to feel to be lonely.

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Know The Truth About Travel

Travel allows us to leave our daily routines behind and to experience things outside of our comfort zone. It gives us the chance to grow, to learn about ourselves, and to accept that loneliness is part of this greater experience. Travel does have the ability to help heal a broken heart, but only if you’re ready for what that truly means. There will be days where something reminds you of your ex and you feel the memories rushing back. Some days, you might question why you’re traveling at all and if there’s a point to all of this.

Many women decide to embark on a solo travel journey after experiencing heartbreak. Not all women who travel solo are heartbroken, but some of them inevitably are, and that’s okay. 

When you feel the familiar feeling of loneliness creep up through your travels, know that it too will pass. Rather than seeking comfort from outside of yourself, seek it from within.

Explore a new city, meet new people, do something that scares you. If you feel uncomfortable or afraid, chances are you’re on the right path. Hike through the trails of Machu Picchu, surf the waves of Byron Bay, or wander through the cobble-stone streets of Spain. Whatever you do, do it with a passion. Do it for yourself.

You Will Come Back Stronger

When I left my relationship and former life behind last year to travel, my plan was to stay single for a year, and I had almost succeeded with being single for 8 months. I got into a relationship after eight months, and today, I find myself single once again, but in a very different way.

I don’t feel broken, or terrified that I am alone again like I would have a year ago. I’m looking forward to the moments I get to experience learning about myself because I’ve come to realize how rare and precious they are. I’m actually excited to be on my own again and to help myself become a better version of me. I was not the person I wanted to be in my last relationship. I’m ready to explore new ways to change that through travel.

There is a thrilling freedom that comes with being on your own and getting to know yourself. If you never truly know who you are, how will you find a relationship that’s right for you? Today, I am ready to accept that being on my own is something I have to do to better myself. I have felt the scary pangs of loneliness and know that I will feel them again. I’m okay with that, and maybe that’s all I need to be right now.

Have you ever traveled to heal a broken heart? I’d love to hear about your story!

  • Michael

    Yes, I traveled with a broken heart. Not looking to heal, but in full out flight from what was a horrible experience. I guess I thought distance rather than time would help. Neither really did. I saw her face, her eyes, everywhere I went, still do, after years passing. Relationships are the hardest thing most of us will ever do. I think when you get in the habit of being unrealistically hard and demanding on yourself that bleeds over on your partner. Not only do they sense and care about you and your insecurities they start to experience some of their own because the answer comes from within not without. It is natural to question the person you are and the person you become in a new relationship. Both people involved inevitably change and that’s not all bad. The key is understanding what’s going on. What’s healthy and what’s not. It might be time to discuss the changes you see, in yourself and your partner when the serious feelings start showing up. I believe if both people in a relationship are on the same page as to what they expect from each other the stronger the tie. Human interaction is not an exact science and I don’t think anyone really understands it fully. The best we can expect is to continue to try, learn and understand. Love is certainly worth looking and fighting for. I continue to be impressed by your ability to share your experience of life with others. I wish you well in all your quests.

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Michael! The answer does come from within, I agree that we all do change in a relationship and only when it is unhealthy should we reconsider the relationship. Thank you, I wish you all the best as well!

  • Nina

    I’m glad , you are stronger than before, and you are not afraid of being on your own.
    Loved the photos, by the way. xx

    Nina’s Style Blog

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Nina, being comfortable on our own is one thing I think we all must learn one day xo

  • I love this post! So much positivity and a love for life. I’m glad travel has changed you and made you grow into the person you are today.

    cabin twenty-four

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Eena, I am too!

  • I’ve never been in a relationship, as I’m still young, but my mum has taught me a lot and I think it’s pretty easy to see the general ideal of it when our friends are in one, or just got out of one. I think the most important time is that time you have on your own, because you have to learn to love and care for yourself before you can “ask” someone else to care and love you. xx

    • Diana Maria

      I think so too, that’s definitely what we should use our time alone for! Thank you for reading Kyia 🙂

  • You really inspire me in so many different levels! Love how courageous and brave you are to not be afraid of getting in touch with your emotions and feelings. Love that you have found travel as a way to heal you and I bet it does! You have a beautiful soul and I hope you get everything you want in life / relationships 🙂

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you so much Alifya, you’re too sweet! I wish all the same for you xo

  • Biana Perez

    I totally related to this post because I have found that travel helped when I was at a crossroads and trying to find myself!! Thank you for sharing! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • Diana Maria

      I find the same, it can really help you recenter yourself in the midst of such a foreign environment. Thanks for stopping by Biana!

  • Traveling can be a moment where we can learn a lot. After breaking up with a boyfriend I didn’t travel after 6 months of the break up. I was healed and realized many things. But with going on that trip made me realized many things of that relationship and finished moving on.

    xx, Melissa

    • Diana Maria

      I’m glad traveling was able to heal you and help you realize things, that’s what I love about travel! Thanks for reading Melissa xo

  • Great post, I have found travelling by myself reinforces my sense of identity and makes me feel more capable and competent than anything else. I haven’t had a broken heart so can’t comment on whether it can cure one but I imagine it makes a good bloody distraction. Thank you for sharing x

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

    • Diana Maria

      I agree, I always find myself when I travel! Haha it definitely is one of the best distractions there is xo

  • Such a beautiful post girly! x

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you love! xx

  • What a beautiful, well-written post! It sounds like your travels helped you learn a lot about yourself.

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Abbey! It truly does xo

  • Loved reading this! I went through my first heartbreak a few months ago and it was really hard, but I realized a lot of things as I took time for myself like you did. I think it’s great that now you can be single in a different way where you’re excited to be on your own 🙂

    • Diana Maria

      I agree, I’m so glad you were able to find the good in heartbreak Katherine xo

  • Caitlin

    What gorgeous pictures! I think travel is good for so many things, definitely including personal growth 🙂

    Beauty & Colour | Vegan Lifestyle Blog

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Caitlin!

  • My ex and I broke up 3 months before I was to leave for student exchange (this was not the reason for the break up). I got to live in a foreign country, travel around Europe and meet so many great people. There were time when it was hard because I would see something and my first thought would jump to him because I know he would have loved hearing about it but eventually I got used to being on my own without being lonely. I am very grateful for the opportunity to travel after that break up, especially in those 3 months before I left, knowing I was going travelling was the only thing that got me through the day.

    Emily |

    • Diana Maria

      That must have been such an exciting experience! I’m glad it was able to help you carry on and eventually move on xx

  • This is a very lovely post. I actually never traveled to heal a broken heart but I can see why it’s a tempting thing to do. I do think that traveling can fix a lot of problems and help us heal. Thanks for sharing your story with us 🙂

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Leta! I think travel helps us realize many things we may not pay attention to otherwise. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  • I never traveled alone and the only idea frightens me a little bit! I’m not such a courageous person :/ You are instead!

    • Diana Maria

      I used to be terrified as well, even travel with friends can teach us so much! Thank you for reading Roberta xx

  • Wow, love your story. I totally believe that (at some point) travel will heal your broken heart. I’ve actually never done it. At some point it crossed my mind, but I couldn’t leave my cats and work just like that. So I decided to stay. Alone. And those six months were good for me. I learned to make life more about me instead of others.

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Johanne! Sometimes you can’t just leave your life behind, but any time to yourself can help so much. I’m glad it brought you positivity xo

  • It so weird how we have this fear of being alone. I went through the same thing and then I found I did most of my growing as a person when I was single. Heck I even started my blog!

    • Diana Maria

      Right?! I think the things we are supposed to do often scare us the most, so it could be a good sign. That’s awesome that your blog was started that way Laura! xx

  • Joanne

    This is such a beautiful, heartfelt, and inspiring post. Thank you so much for writing this! I also went through a break-up at the start of this year, and it’s been tough ever since, but sadly I haven’t had the chance to do any solo traveling. Hopefully I’ll manage to experience one in the near future. Your last paragraphs really hit home, it’s so true that we always come back stronger and at least now, after all that’s happened, we’re not as scared or fragile as we once were. Lovely photos too.
    I am so in love with your blog, and your content is amazing. I’d love if we can follow each other on Bloglovin? Do let me know 🙂 Have an awesome week xoxo

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

    • Diana Maria

      I’m sorry to hear about your break up Joanne, I wish you well on your journey towards healing! I will definitely check your blog out, thank you so much! xx

  • I have never traveled to heal a broken heart, but I can imagine doing it should I be heartbroken again. I like to get busy and have new impressions, at least for the first weeks. Then I will embrace the slower pace and moments of loneliness.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Diana Maria

      Keeping busy really does help! We all have our own ways of coping with heartbreak, but I’m glad you’ve considered travel! Thanks for reading Linda xx

  • You’re an amazing writer, Diana! Thanks for sharing your heartbreak story. I’m so glad that traveling helped to heal your broken heart & is continuing to help you become a better version of yourself!!

    • Diana Maria

      Aw, thank you so much Maddi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  • marissa

    I love this take on travel! so honest and yet so true!

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Marissa!

  • I don’t really like travelling on my own, it isn’t really my thing! But lovely post.

    Lauren x Huggled

    • Diana Maria

      It’s definitely not for everyone! Thanks for reading xx

  • Kim

    Traveling alone seems super scary but empowering as well. I hope you felt better and was able to enjoy travels after some time alone! Thanks for the inspiring post!

    Simply Lovebirds

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Kim! xx

  • I think only time can heal a broken heart, but traveling can certainly help. Great post!

    Vanessa x |

    • Diana Maria

      I think so too, time is the best medicine and healer of all! Thank you Vanessa xx

  • Gorgeous post – really thought provoking!

    Heather 🙂

    • Diana Maria

      Thanks Heather!

  • MoreThanDestination

    Such an honest and touching post! I haven’t traveled with a broken heart, but I am completely agree that you have to know yourself first, be happy with who you are rather than look for happiness in another person.

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you love, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • Lydia May

    Love this post, so honest.

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Lydia!

  • This post is absolutely true!
    Travelling is the best medicine!

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Patricia! xx

  • I totally believe traveling can help heal a broken heart, especially if you are traveling alone. It allows you to push yourself in new ways and find happiness in the smallest things. I would highly recommend reading the book Wild. It completely inspired me. While I can’t say I would hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone, it did inspire me to get outside and explore.

    Brittany |

    • Diana Maria

      Yes!! I actually just finished and it’s one of the reasons I’ll be camping/traveling out West this summer. It’s so inspiring isn’t it?! Thanks for stopping by Brittany xx

  • This is such an honest post. A lot of people only focus on the positives of travelling alone, but it must get lonely. I’m really glad that travelling helped you in the long run

    Steph –

    • Diana Maria

      It definitely does get lonely, I would prefer traveling with someone personally! Thank you Stephanie xx

  • It’s so important for women to travel (in groups or solo) from early on before we let men into our lives. Society doesn’t encourage it as much with us compared to boys but its’ so necessary I’ve had to live alone across the world since I was 18 so I am very independent. I have travelled solo so its weird when I travel with people, lol. But after a break up you need to get out of your comfort zone. Avoid romantic places haha. But you will come back stronger.

    Natasha xo

    • Diana Maria

      That’s great that you’ve grown to be so independent, that’s one of my goals for this year! I think so too, you come back so much stronger, I’m glad you learned from your travels. Thanks for reading Natasha! 🙂

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    Such a beautifully written, heartfelt post, hun! 🙂 I think travelling is great for the soul in general. I get brought down quite often by the stresses of the daily life, work, etc., but travelling is something that I always look forward to. We try to do at least one holiday a year, and it’s always so amazing & you come back feeling refreshed. Thanks for sharing this lovely post, darling! 🙂 xoxo


    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Kay! I’m glad travel helps you feel refreshed as well, life can get a bit too busy at times. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! xo

  • Fay Ovitt

    I LOVE this post Diana! I went on a solo trip back in February (to Seattle- I’m sure you remember!) and it was FULL of ups and downs. I can totally relate to the feeling of loneliness and I used to get angry when people would tell me to embrace the lonely and focus on myself. I don’t like being alone- whether that means having a significant other or not. Sure I can appreciate my alone time but for the most part I like to surround myself with others! I think that solo travel is something that everyone should experience. It is completely life changing and I think I have a whole new perspective to take with me on my next adventure 🙂

    • Diana Maria

      Aw thank you Fay! I feel the same way when people suggest that- when traveling I have so much fun with others, I’d definitely do a group travel somewhere, but most likely not alone without a cause. I’m glad it changed your perspective so much, I can’t wait to see what travels you’ll have in the future! xox

  • Aiko Cunanan

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your story. Traveling does the soul so good <3

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Aiko, I’m so glad you enjoyed the read! xo

  • I totally believe that travelling can heal many things that medicine can’t and that includes a broken heart. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    xx Alyssa // STYLE VANITY

    • Diana Maria

      I couldn’t agree more, traveling and time are the best healers. I’m glad you enjoyed Alyssa! xx

  • Adrianka

    Unconsciously, I used travelling and exploring when healing my broken heart. Unlike you, I wanted to be alone, wanted to embrace loneliness and understand it in order to accept that it’s fine to feel that way. I guess travelling was a tool for teaching myself what I am capable of, to scare myself with things I haven’t done before and to overcome that fear and grow more self-assured that I can be one person again. Thanks for the post, it feels very personal and that’s something special to achieve by writing. xx