I was stuck in a rut that I thought was just my relationship, but it was my entire life. I wanted to travel, but my boyfriend was holding me back. I got rid of him and followed my dreams and I’ve never been happier. I don’t regret it for a single second.
Travel has always been one of my dreams. For years, I dreamed of all the places I wanted to visit. A few years ago, I had the chance to achieve this goal because I had some time off from work. It excited me because it was the perfect time in my life to nurture my travel itch and fly by the seat of my pants for a change.
My boyfriend wasn’t into the idea. Ideally, my first thought was that I wanted to travel with my boyfriend. He was between jobs and so it was the perfect time for him to explore new things and maybe take stock of his life, but it wasn’t something he wanted to do.
We were at a crossroads. I was dying to travel and he just didn’t have the same feeling for it. This was problematic because I wanted to be out in the world for a full year, not just two weeks or something. When I told him that, he looked taken aback.
I tried to change my own mind. I tried to choose what he wanted me to choose – the shorter time away so that I could return and we could go back to our normal routine – but that freaked me out. I didn’t want a normal routine, I wanted something different! I became obsessed with getting away and traveling. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.
He didn’t want to stand in my way. He made it clear that I should do what I had to do, but was I going to be in a LDR for an entire year? Was I going to be held back by a relationship while I traveled around the world with freedom as my second name? Did I want to be tied down to daily texts and video chats whenever I could find an Internet cafe? God, that all sounded so depressing to me.
I decided to break up with him. I told him what I was feeling and how I wanted to be free. It wasn’t a brave or awesome thing to do – it broke my heart and made me second-guess myself.
I felt really guilty. I loved the guy and I wanted to be with him, but I also wanted to make the most of my life at that time and chase my goals. I wished I could’ve had both, but I knew that I had to focus on what was right for me at that time. Still, it made me feel guilty for passing on a good relationship and basically saying adios to a guy who had been so good to me.
I knew i had to make myself a priority. What got me through those feelings of fear and guilt was that I kept reminding myself that I had to live my life. I had to make myself a priority before I could make anyone else important in my life. If I chose my relationship over my dream, I’d probably end up resenting the decision.
Relationships would come and go. I also knew that I was only in my early thirties and I’d probably have many more relationships in my life before settling down. That guy, as great as he was, shouldn’t have held me back from making the most of the opportunity I had in my life. I knew that opportunity might never come back, so I decided that I had to prioritize it over having a boyfriend.
I knew in my heart i made the right decision. Before I even stepped on that plane to head to Europe, I knew that I was doing the right thing for me. It actually felt empowering to choose myself over my relationship and to do something that would make me grow in life. And it really did.
I made some amazing memories. During that year of travel, I saw some beautiful places, I met family that I had never met before, I learned to depend on myself, I became more independent and courageous, and I had a lot of fun. I made memories that will last me a lifetime and I have zero regrets.
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