Holidays are difficult times for many people who may be going through grief, depression, anxiety, etc. When you divorce, it’s hard enough to get through a regular day. During the holidays, you may be feeling extra vulnerable. You are probably used to years of traditions that you used to do together as a family. You are also bombarded by the media that uses the holidays to advertise and sell numerous products. You see images of happy families and couples shopping together, exchanging gifts, or eating dinner. This is very hard because it contrasts with your current situation. You are single. Whether it’s by choice and you are happy about it, or he left you and caught you by surprise, holidays will trigger various emotions for you.
What if you decide to turn your back to that script filled by propaganda and expectations, and take a trip? How does this sound to you? Liberating? Scary? Overwhelming? Fun? Sad? You may feel all of these emotions. If you think about it, taking a trip can be a very good way to spend the holidays.
When you divorce, you may finally get the privilege that you always wanted: time for yourself. You’ve been overwhelmed with so much all these years. Remember the times when your children were little how you wished that you had privacy and time for yourself in the bathroom? You’ve been on top of it throughout the years. You are an exemplary career woman, the top example in your children’s school of how a parent should be involved, or a wife that many of your husband’s friends would kill to have. How about you? How happy have you been fulfilling all those roles? Maybe these holidays can be for you to do something that you never dared, or something that didn’t go along with all these roles that you were working so hard to fulfill.
Taking a vacation and going on a trip can be a great healing, soul-searching experience. This may be the opportunity to figure out what you are about after decades of playing roles that were imposed on you. There are so many ways in which you can travel. For instance, you can go on a single’s cruise. But if you are freshly divorced, most likely you need a little healing time for yourself before you expose yourself to potential relationships. The following three ways to travel can be ideal for the newly divorced to explore.
If you are not daring enough to travel by yourself, how about going to visit that single friend who lives in Rome or Wisconsin? Or, how about that divorced friend in Ojai, who constantly kept inviting you to visit. You’ve always thought that she was too much of a hippy to visit with your family. Now, you are free to visit her, go and explore some hot springs, hike, go horseback riding, or to yoga classes with her. Maybe she will show you some cool herbs. You could indulge in self-care that you’ve always neglected. Maybe that’s exactly what you need.
Does your family live overseas or across the country? They would probably be delighted to have you visit. You can spend some time with them and allow them to nurture you. Pick some of your family members that are compassionate and who understand your grief, perhaps someone who will not pry too much but just be there with you. It may be very healing to cry on someone’s shoulder. They are the people who know your values, which can help you regain some of that confidence. You can also meet with your siblings or old school friends and go down memory lane of all dorky, cute moments from your childhood.
Are you ready for something daring? How about taking a trip by yourself to a completely new place? This may be a good idea if you are not feeling too vulnerable and if you’ve been pondering about it before. This may be a perfect time for you to do it. Let your ex be with the kids. He may be surprised that you are not going to fight him on this (who will spend more time with the kids during the holidays). After all, there are so many upcoming weekends that you can spend with the kids.
Meanwhile, you can finally explore how it is to be all by yourself in a completely new environment. What can you lose? In the worst-case scenario, you can feel lonely and sad. You can sit on the first plane and come back. On the other hand, you may find that you enjoy exploring new places, new people, and how you relate to it all.
Just think about going to a restaurant and sampling gourmet foods. You can eat something different from salads because you can go to places that offer more than just cheesy or meaty things. You can finally explore all those museums that he didn’t feel like going to. You can take a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional Greek food while meeting fabulous local people. You will be astonished how you get along with different cultures and different generations of people.
Basically, now you can be free to experience how it is to be you, without compromising your choices and taste. This can bring a lot of insight and healing. This can be refreshing and provide a new outlook for your life to come. Taking a trip alone, visiting family, or visiting friends can be very healing and empowering. You can come back with a clear head and with realized knowledge that you are going to make it.