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Meandering thoughts

What do you do with a broken heart?

I have loved to travel for as long as I can remember.  It is in my blood…it is something I can not help.

Broken Heart

I have read so many blogs about struggles with relationships and how to make it work.  Some feel it is only possible to find love with a fellow traveler, others are able to make it work with time on the road and time at a home base.  I have been a little smug, thinking that I could make it work with someone who doesn’t share my wanderlust.  After all, while I am an adventurous wanderer with a thirst to explore, I also have some homebody tendencies.  I love having that home base to come home to with my people, my things and memories.  I love having that partner – you know, the one you can’t wait to share your stories with!  Your victories and your defeats…the shoulder to cry on and the person to share the Sunday paper with (guess who always reads the travel section!!!)

Like I said, I have been a little smug.  I knew we had our difficulties, and I complained about his telling me I was doing things wrong all the time.  It often wore me out.  I had a lot of unhappiness, and friends said we should call it off.  He was completely unsupportive of this blog which has taken on a life of its own.  Life at home was rough.  At times, travel was an escape as much as an adventure, but I still looked forward to seeing him and having that someone to share my life with.  I loved our philosophical conversations and the  cycling trips to Europe.  I boldly wrote how lucky I was when, just over a year ago, I wrote about the major transition I was going through – the transition from corporate life to life on the road.  It was my transition zone.  It was a chance for me to explore myself and grow after years of hard core selling for major corporations.  We skyped regularly as I traveled through Europe until I bought a phone….it was so much easier to call him.  We talked about loving someone and setting them free…if they come back it was meant to be.  I came back, nervous of how things would go upon my return.  I had been the master of my own domain for nearly 3 full months and had blossomed personally.  But, as much as I had blossomed, and as much as I didn’t admit to or write about it,  I longed to have that person share some of my experiences.  To live it together.  I wanted to look back on my life with my partner, from a rocking chair on the porch, and reminisce about life – both the good and the bad!  I guess I wanted to have it all!  We had been through so much together…the last rocky patch was longer than normal, but there were extenuating circumstances.

I am so sad to say, I was wrong and he broke my heart.  Grant it, it took a year for him to do it.  Perhaps my time away changed me too much, or perhaps we didn’t change at all!  We went back to some of the same negative patterns, and he began to resent my travel even more.  Given that I traveled for work often in my 9 – 5 corporate life, I thought we could make it work but I didn’t know how to talk to him about it.  He didn’t want to hear it.  I know we had our problems, but after so many years, who doesn’t?  I was deluding myself.  The writing was on the wall, and I didn’t want to read it!

Then it all fell apart.  After being away for a few days, I learned that my father, who had been sick for years, was now terminal.  The world was a blur…I have to say, there was some relief in that as I watched my dad suffer, and the tole it took on me, and my relationship.  I have been curtailing my travels to be more local so as to not be too far away, and spent much time out at my father’s house.  It was at that time that my partner of 6 years decided to end it!  Poof – in an instant, I had lost everything.  My father is dying and the only pillar in my life bailed.  My head hasn’t stopped spinning and my heart is terribly broken!  Even travel plans don’t excite as they normally do.  Will there be a light at the end of this tunnel?  I am at a crossroads here – torn apart by the 2 men in my life and unable to put my feet on the ground.  Crushed by the one who left me and the one who is slowly disintegrating due to cancer.  I have written about solo travel – but what about solo life?  Everyone is gone.

To add insult to injury, while I was away, I got calls from friends at home asking about my partner and a girl who has been a thorn in my side for years – “she is not a problem”, he assured me, “she is a little weird, socially awkward.  No interest here”.  I trusted and believed him.  And he crushed me.  I know, you are reading this and saying, get over it!  He is not worth it.  That is what everyone has said to me so far….but what else do you say?

So back to the initial question?  What do you do with a broken heart?  Will mine ever heal?  While my travel is still limited on account of my father, do I run for the border the second he is gone?  Will I ever find love again?  Can a travel writer find the balance between life on the road and a life at home?

I am tormented by the situation.  I would not have been able to live with myself if I had denied who I was and my passion for travel.  Life is too short to fake it.  You have to be true to yourself.  But what do you do when you are the one who wants to have a home life and a life on the road….such a conflict.  I have to ask – how is travel writing any less of a career than a business person who travels.  Of course, I earn far less money than the executive, but there is little difference between the person who travels for meetings and the person who travels for writing.  Life is still on the road.  I just dreamed that I could have both – where did I go so wrong?

I am stuck here.  This is not my traditional post, but I would love your feedback…is love on the road a possibility with a person who is based at home?  Or as a traveler, am I destined to be alone?

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


20 thoughts on “What do you do with a broken heart?

  1. Hey Anita
    I am so sorry to hear this. I have always read your travel posts with glee and excitement so please know that all your travels and writing have touched others. When I started my blog 4 mths ago, your blog was one of the first I followed. I remember reading abt your New Orleans post and thinking I will go there one day.

    I have always thought that food bloggers and travel bloggers are lucky. They get to travel the world and live their dream. And we live thru your words. Thanks for being brave enough to tell it like it is and that’s why I will continue reading and supporting.

    I do believe someone is out there for you who loves travel as much too. When a door closes another opens. This is a blessing in disguise. You are hurting now but I promise you one day you will look back and think that you have lived your life with no regrets and have truly lived via your travels.

    Posted by Michelle | August 22, 2013, 12:05 pm
  2. Oh Anita, I don’t do well with these things. It’s the insensitive guy in me, but I’ll do my best. Follow your heart. That’s it. As I’ve gotten to know you I see a passionate person. Travel is part of that passion. Follow it. There’s no reason to bury a passion (travel). Keep traveling. Who knows who you might discover on the road. I do think it’s important that you keep that focus closer to your father for now. And keep working on that Ottawa Bucket List. I’ll need it for when I eventually make my way up there to visit. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

    Posted by Trips By Lance | August 22, 2013, 12:59 pm
  3. Dear Anita,
    The emotional pain you are dealing with will slowly decrease. Pain is a great teacher. I offer no cliche’s because that is what they are, trite sayings to make one feel better without any substance. I am truly sorry that your partner left you, and am more sorrowful about your dad. As I have a few years on you I can only offer what I have experienced and seen in life. As you stated, you are at a crossroads. Take your time to decide which path to choose, and what are the choices; for they seem limited to two, but there may be others. As you realize, relationships are paramount. Traveling and blogging is a passion of yours, but passion needs to be shared. Perhaps you will find someone who desires what you do, or you find someone who propels you to make changes in how you live your life. Take it slow. Many say trust your heart while others say use your head. I believe we need to do both. Spend as much time as you can with your dad so when he is gone you won’t regret that you didn’t. I have lost both parents so I know something about this dynamic. I applaud your openess and willingness to be vulnerable. Out of the ashes will come something sweet, and perhaps, unexpected. For me, I look upwards to a higher power for strength and wisdom; namely, Christ. I wish you the best during this part of your life journey. Know that you are not alone, as revealed by Michelle & Lance.

    Posted by Michael Doran | August 22, 2013, 1:44 pm
  4. Always follow your heart – it may get you in trouble sometimes, but it’s worth the rewards.

    Posted by marciawood | August 22, 2013, 2:16 pm
  5. Dear Anita, I feel your deep pain and sense of loss,betrayal. I will pray for you and your father. Karen

    Posted by Karen Parrell | August 22, 2013, 2:39 pm
  6. Dear Anita… first off, big HUGS to you. It will take time to “get over it.” Allow yourself that. My mother died of cancer a few years ago, and I know it’s hard to watch, but in the end, you’ll feel better for having been there when and while you can be there.
    I believe that as long as you are following your heart, you’ll find love. Maybe not in the way you expect, but that’s the beauty of it. Wishing you love, peace, and healing.

    Posted by Robin | August 22, 2013, 4:04 pm
  7. I read this and my fingers itched to write. Had I not lost power due to a storm you would have gotten this within 2 minutes:
    You must follow your bliss (or dreams or bucket list or whatever you call it.) Few people do. That means that while people might “say” they understand and support you, your “freedom” highlights their “cage”. I can only say he must have felt awful debilitating jealousy as you grew.
    You can’t fix anyone’s insecurity or inability to “cheer” for you. Know that. Really. If someone loves you then they want you to be happy and they want to ease any pain you have. That’s the definition of love. If they aren’t happy themselves, they can’t give you that support. It’s not possible.
    Most of us fear change more than we know. Most of us fear pretty much everything. Then, we allow that fear (and others) to define us. That’s a real tragedy. Because you are the one who gets to decide your passions. You get to decide your love. When you find one worth fighting for, you won’t need to fight, justify, explain, or anything else. You’ll just be “in” it.
    I say this because I am a kindred spirit. I have a real passion for France and turned it into a business. I had a “partner” (loose definition) who when I explained this said “do whatever the fuck you want, just don’t use my money”. So I didn’t. I have a life that I have made for myself. Hard won and worth it. And sometimes I miss things. Sometimes I don’t. That’s life. You know the ups by the downs, and you know the real by the false.

    Posted by blisstravelsnews | August 22, 2013, 5:28 pm
  8. It was tough reading this Anita, as having your father alive and healthy is something that is important to all of us who value the role our parents have played in our lives. But to have all your other “pillars” around you tumble then that is tough. But like Michelle, Lance, and Michael have said – don’t give up on your passion of travel. My wife and I met through travels. Some of our travels have been apart, and most of them recently have been together. But ultimately we are all individuals, and there are passions that I don’t share with my wife but it makes me happy when she is happy taking part in those passions. We still both love to travel, but like you said, having someone to come back home to is important. We only have one shot at life, and I don’t want to have regrets for not travelling, seeing, or experiencing something.
    BTW – if everybody had to do “careers” that were not considered lesser then we wouldn’t have photographers, and writers, and artists, and musicians, and actors… Life would be very corporate.

    Posted by cyardin | August 23, 2013, 12:42 am
  9. Anita, my heart is aching for you. You will come out of this a much stronger woman. I don’t know about you, but I think at the end of this all, as you put it, for me jetting off would be very hard. I would need time to mourn both and would find that hard to do on the road again. There are people out there who can handle a strong woman and you will find them, perhaps on your travels or perhaps at home, but they do exist! Maybe they’ll even be able to travel at your side.

    Stay strong and focus on each day as they come. Writing helps, talking to close friends, maybe finding support from people who have experienced similar heart aches. But look at all of these people that feel your heartache and wish you well. Things will get better. All the best.

    Posted by usaabroad | August 23, 2013, 2:42 am
  10. Anita, I know where you are right now and believe me over time and many tears you will find the right companion and partner out there. 6 years ago, I was in the same boat and saw no way out. Over time though not only did I find a way out, I also found the love of my life and a tribe of people who are on the same wavelength. Hang in there girl. Take care, Paul

    Posted by paulfarrugia | August 23, 2013, 7:12 am
  11. I think the right person is the one that understands your common interests and is comfortable with your differences… love is love, what you do & enjoy has no baring on whether you’ll end up single or not… I think the right person will either understand your love for travel or share your love for travel 🙂
    Hang in there… time heals wounds but give time, time.

    Posted by Bashar A. | August 24, 2013, 12:41 am
  12. This post has been spooking with me since I read it the first time… You had the courage to share your hurt and your heart with us. I really hope that you will find that someone special who will appreciate you for who you are, and give you the freedom to live your dreams… Even better would be someone who could live your dreams with you! So my answer to your final question is NO! I do not believe you are destined to be alone, I just think you have not met the right one yet…

    Posted by The Rider | August 24, 2013, 3:33 am
  13. Oh Neet. Why didn’t you say how much pain you were in?

    Find peace. xx

    Posted by frugalfirstclasstravel | August 24, 2013, 7:07 pm
  14. Sending chi energy to you and to your dad. Blessings, Annie

    Posted by TinCanTraveler | August 24, 2013, 10:35 pm
  15. Anita, I’m so sorry to read your last post. Losing a parent is one of the most difficult things in the world. Cherish all the good memories deep in your heart. It helped me when I lost my Mother and brother three years ago.
    I know you’ve heard this many times before but believe me, your broken heart will heal and you’ll fall in love again. You will follow your dreams and be back on the road again.
    Don’t give up. My thoughts are with you.

    Posted by Herman | August 25, 2013, 1:49 pm
  16. Dear Anita, the news about you death has really taken a massive grip of my heart – I this is the first time I visit your world …. I wish things were different and that I will still be able to read about new adventures of yours, but I’m glad that I can still share your adventures. I know you are so missed and I can see that your friends gave you a fantastic support …. Anita, the distance between us here and you … is only a breath and you will be remember by so many of us. I know there is so many that wish they could have done so much more for you … and I wish you were still here.
    Your spirit will be with so many of us … so sleep well. You will not be forgotten.

    Posted by viveka | August 28, 2013, 4:36 am
  17. I read this a few days after learning Anita has passed away. I am comforted as a travel blogger friend that so many people read this on the day she wrote it. I hope Anita read some of these comments before she started her next journey… Rest in peace, Anita…

    Posted by ilivetotravel | August 28, 2013, 9:25 pm
  18. Rest in peace Anita. This is such a sad story and the consequences of it. Life can just be too tough at times. There is clearly a wealth of support out there and the community generated here is testimony to the inspiration that you provided.

    May God keep you safe.

    Posted by The Guy | August 30, 2013, 8:28 pm
  19. Would some one please tell me when Anita passed, and how. I just discovered this a few minutes ago and am shocked, to say the least. I know her heart was broken and circumstances tough. Since I have not seen her posts or a while, I was getting ready to email her, as we had communicated that way occassionally. She was very helpful in giving me insights for our trip to Croatia. I enjoyed her passion and adventures. If someone would like to share this info apart from this website, let me know and I’ll send you my email address. This news saddens me immensely.

    Posted by Michael Doran | September 12, 2013, 11:25 am
  20. I’m a bit confused. Is Anita alive or ? Would appreciate a public post somewhere of what the situation is.

    Posted by Jean | November 24, 2013, 5:11 pm

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