The year I walked away from love

girl being dipped


Day 366: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

I realized that the blurb about me on the right is a bit glib in that I say with ease that I left my boyfriend to travel. The truth is it wasn’t easy and I’ve spent most of this year dealing with it.

As I received emails from readers I discovered that I made it appear all too easy. I glossed over the heartbreak and self-doubt. I made it look like I was special; that I was somehow stronger than most for making this giant leap.

But I am not special. It was not easy.

This trip has been a huge sacrifice for me. I have gained so much but in exchange I had to walk away from love.

The irony of me breaking up with my boyfriend to travel is that he was the only one who never questioned why I had to go. He understood and I never needed to explain.

But because human emotions are complicated he was both proud of me for going and resented me for leaving. In return I loved him for encouraging me to go and resenting him for not insisting that I stay.


He once told me Live it Out reminded him of me, as if the lyrics were me telling him I’d go anyway even if he couldn’t. It gave me strength and became the most played song on my iPod.

My departure day he drove me to the airport and took a photo of me with my backpack so I would remember the moment. That was the end of the relationship. I promised myself I would not cry. My heart was torn between already missing him and the excitement of this adventure.

My story of breaking up to travel the world. Sometimes it's necessary to break up even if you are afraid of being alone.

In Central America we Skyped several times a week, talking for hours. Somehow the distance helped us find perspective on our relationship and we became closer. I fantasized about coming back, moving in with him; I’d have a vegetable garden and in the summer and we’d host barbecues.

Everything would be fixed.

But things started to get complicated in South America. He was seeing someone else and struggling because his heart was mine. I started drifting and became accustomed to my new life – I no longer wanted to go back.

And so I decided instead of a brief trip home in February before heading to India I would stay in South America until June. It hurt him. In return he struck back and told me he wasn’t coming to visit in Peru. It wasn’t malicious; he had all the right, practical, sensible reasons (money).

At that moment I fell out of love.

By the end of the year we were only talking once every other week, for minutes instead of hours, on Facebook chat rather than Skype. I had started seeing someone as well.

We had both drifted too far apart to find each other. He told me he needed to move on. Rather than be hurt I was relieved.

I delivered the final blow when I announced I would stay in South America. Foolishly we thought we could immediately be friends and we held up the charade for a month.


But then in Peru, my last night with the Hare Krishnas I felt compelled to listen to Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars over and over again. I don’t know what drew me to it but this line struck me.

I’m not sorry I met you. I’m not sorry it’s over. I’m not sorry there’s nothing to say.

The next day I arrived back in Lima and caught up on emails. The night before as I was listening to that song he emailed to say he was removing me from Facebook, Skype, Flickr and unsubscribing from my blog. He could not longer talk to me. He had to move on.

I had nothing to say so I didn’t respond.

It hurt to be shut out of his life but I understood. Now ‘unfriended’ I find myself creeping his Facebook page thanks to liberal privacy settings. I wonder how he’s doing, knowing I can’t go back but still missing him.

And as I write this post the universe conspires to reassure me that things will be fine through the iPod shuffle setting. The same Stars song comes back on but now a new line stands out.

Live through this and you won’t look back.

Update: I wrote this post over 4 years ago, want to know how it ends? Read: The Year I Walked Toward Love


      • john b says

        just surfing and read your stuff. good for you girl, everyday life is always the easy option, only the lucky few shake off the shackles of everyday life, I have trveled a lot the last 15 years, now 53 and still alone, I would do it all again in a heart beat. john…

    • Asia Watters says

      This post made me cry a little bit. I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years and he is my everything, and he was my first boyfriend as well, my highschool crush I suppose. I’ve got a really bad travel bug and it’s been my dream since I was younger, before I met him. I’m planning and around the world backpacking trip and leaving next September. I think I will be faced with this same decision. Thanks for your post!

      • Tara says

        Ready this post felt like someone was writing on behalf of me. I’m 25 and been with my boyfriend for 3 years, first boyfriend and my highschool crush. He was ready to move to the UK with me, but I’ve just told him I need to do it solo. His support of my choice makes this even more heartbreaking

  1. says

    This has to be the most heart wrenching post you’ve written. I know you didn’t write this with a glib hand either.

    I love that Stars song, use to play it a lot as well, probably moaning over some heartbreak or other.

    Though my last big love, my first, luckily stopped hurting years ago.

    Yours seems a little fresh, but you will heal and hopefully one day be friends.

    You can’t spend that much time with someone and not try.

    Hugs from me! :)
    Nomadic Chick recently posted..I’m in Love… With My Guesthouse

    • Ayngelina says

      I really wanted to post the Final Fantasy version of Your Ex-Lover is Dead, it’s the song I listened to and quite haunting but alas no video. I didn’t know about this version until writing the post, not as good but I like the video.

    • says

      This really hits me, however, no matter how many times I read this post I cant’t seem to leave. I can only hope one day I will have to courage to break my own heart so I can follow my dreams and travel.

  2. says

    I love this post. I had a similar experience, so it really hits home for me. Only, just a few months after I’d arrived overseas (in San Francisco), I met another man — a man with a boat and a plan to sail the Pacific, which made it very easy to forget my old relationship :)

    I love your songs too, you have great taste in music.

    • Ayngelina says

      Thanks, my love of music actually started because of him. He was so into new music and concerts that the passion was contagious.

  3. says

    I found myself nodding along to much of this post. I had a somewhat similar situation, although we broke up and THEN I decided that now was the best time to move to France (and we subsequently cut off all/most contact). I think the hardest thing is resisting the urge to idealize things: I know we want different things and wouldn’t have been happy together–he doesn’t even have a passport–but it’s still hard not to think “what if.” Either way, life is a series of choices–and all you can do every day is choose joy, choose to be happy, choose to embrace the choices you’ve already made and move forward.
    Really enjoyed this post–very honest.

    • Ayngelina says

      I think its best just to cut things off completely to give yourself perspective. I still don’t have it completely but I’m slowly getting there.

  4. says

    It’s amazing to follow along with someone’s blog for two years only to realize there’s still so much left to learn about a person. I’m so glad you shared this post.

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I can’t even imagine how hard the decision must’ve been. As hard as it was, I’m sure you know you’ve made the right decision. I enjoy your posts about the places you visit, but it’s these emotional ones that really pull me in.
    Ali recently posted..Friendship in the Time of Twitter

    • Ayngelina says

      Thanks Ali, one more post this week where I open up a vein and spill my story and then some more lighthearted stuff.

    • Ayngelina says

      I realized that so many people were dealing with similar situations, cathartic for me to share that they aren’t alone.

      • says

        Hi Ayngelina, I just want to say that I’m torn between loving and hating your post for its honesty :)

        I searched the web for how to deal with travel break-ups (I know stupid thing to do) because my boyfriend is leaving me to move to the Alps to Ski for 6-7 months with plans to travel setting up festivals for another 6 months.

        I am trying to be supportive and I know that he should go and I want him to… but I love him and I’m having difficulty accepting that I am going to have to loose him.

        I just wish your posted ended in you bumping into him and falling in love all over again! As thats what my heart is holding out for!

        Your blog is amazing, though it stung to read it has given me alot to think about.

        Megan x

        • Ayngelina says

          Believe me you are not the only person who has searched that term, a lot of people find my site that way.

          It’s been a couple years since I wrote that post and when I returned home we tried to get back together but it just didn’t work. We realized that we weren’t meant to be but the good news is that we are actually great friends now. Ironically a few months ago he quit his job, sold his house and went traveling. A lot of people ask if I am upset about it but I’m not, in fact I was his biggest supporter at the time because he had been so supportive of me.

          It doesn’t mean that this will also happen to you guys, you never know. But the best thing you can do is be supportive and things work out the way they should. Not always how we want (at the time) but later on you realize it was the right thing.

  6. says

    Boyfriends around the world had better watch out Ayngelina! Jokes aside – what a remarkable post. Music can be so soothing can’t it? I have definitely found comfort in it in the past too.
    Liv recently posted..The Hardest Goodbye

  7. says

    Gorgeous post, and I, too, have been there, looking back on the “would haves” that “could have” been “should I have” chosen a different path, been less independent, been less rebellious, been less me. I hope that soon the days where you stalk the Facebook page become fewer and farther between because life has started moving so quickly you have no choice but to follow where it leads you, and then suddenly you’ll wake up in this new and wonderful place that you never would have experienced nor had if you would have, could have, should have.
    Shaina recently posted..Eat Well- Spend Less Week 3 Wrap-Up and 50 Grocery Giveaway

  8. says

    A raw and honest post. I’m sure it was hard but I think distance helps immensely (at least it did in my case). I think what most struck me was “I loved him for encouraging me to go and resenting him for not insisting that I stay.” I had so many of those moments where I felt he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t… where you may not have necessarily listened but at the same time it still would have been nice to here. Really enjoyed this one.
    Laura recently posted..Spa Bliss in Bangkok

  9. says

    My heart hurts for you. Shaun and I were apart for a while a few years ago because we got married too young and needed to figure our stuff out. I can say that, while it SUCKED, I would go through it again because I came out a much stronger person with a better sense of self.

    I’m sending you e-hugs!
    Erica recently posted..Seizing the Day in Hawaii

  10. says

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I just found your blog today, and this post has captivated me. I’ve experienced many of the things you mentioned, from your connection to “Your Ex-lover is Dead” to that message from someone you care about telling you that they don’t want you in their life anymore. I know how hard that is and I know how it makes you stronger. I’m glad you’re healing and growing, and I look forward to reading more about your adventures.

  11. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story as hard as it was. I had a boyfriend when I started traveling too and I totally understand the struggle between following your dream and saving your relationship. Stay strong & know that time heals broken hearts too 😉
    Superxicana recently posted..TRAVEL DATING

  12. says

    aw.. I can’t decide whether that is a sad story or a happy one. Certainly happy, for the fact that your life is obviously pretty amazing now. But sad that you had to go through all of that. Do you wonder at all if he will ever read this? And if he will have anything to say to you about it? Siiigh.. travel vs love.. always a tough decision, huh?
    Seattle Dredge recently posted..11 Days on a Train – A Cross Canada Adventure

      • says

        I know he stopped following this blog months ago (because he had to) but I’m sure that he does read it from time to time. I also know that your leaving was really hard on both of you… but not as hard as trying to move on from the relationship.

  13. says

    Hi Ayngelina,

    Thanks for sharing this – I too broke up with my partner of during this past year. Love and relationships are so hard to talk about, even though we bare our souls talking about how scared we were to travel or trials that helped us find courage, or special life changing moments.

    For me, parting ways was hard because we both loved each other and wished the best for each other. In the end we agreed that “we can love each other without having to be together.”

    – Lily

    • Ayngelina says

      This was definitely the hardest post to write but I felt it was time to share it, especially knowing so many others grapple with the same thing.

  14. Sabrina says

    Wow! How moving … I envied you how easy it seemed for you to leave and dive head first into adventure. I never realized how difficult it actually was. I guess we all have choices, and no matter the choice there are always sacrifices. You are courageous! Keep living in the moment!

  15. says

    Thank you for sharing this, for being so open, honest and vulnerable. Your words were like a big hug, comforting and assuring at the same time. Wishing you so much love and happiness in the life you’re building.

  16. says

    After three years with my boyfriend, I decided I needed to travel. I wanted him to go but he needed to focus on his career. So we cut it off cold turkey, I went and he stayed and it broke both our hearts. I was only 19 then, but he was my life. A year later I went back home, and slowly we made amends and now we’ve been married 17 years. If I hadn’t gone and we stayed together, I doubt we’d be happy. We’d be a miserable old married couple.
    Nicole recently posted..Dinner with Travel Writer- Andrea Wren

    • Ayngelina says

      Wow Nicole that’s a really touching story. I do believe things work out the way they should, even if it’s not how we expected or wanted.

  17. says

    Probably one of the most touching story you’ve ever written. I only can imagine how hard that must be. Applause to your courage and hug for your pain.
    My last relationship fell apart because of my wanderlust. I actually didn’t go that long or that far but he just couldn’t handle the fact that ‘someday’ I will leave. Was a right call to break up but my heart was broken a bit as well.
    I recently connected with someone who completely understand me but we have geological problem. It’s perfect other than that. It’s not the same thing but while I was reading this, the amazing feeling of how lucky I am and complicated practical thinking is hovering on me.
    Love and travel are never be apart. So, when love and travel happens simultaneously, it last longer than ever, I think it will.

    • Ayngelina says

      Travel does seem to be a dividing issue. Some people crave it and others could go without it. For me the lure was too strong not to go.

    • Ayngelina says

      The music aspect is particularly difficult because I wasn’t really in music until I started seeing him and so to remember the story in song somehow seems more fitting.

  18. says

    Wow, I’m impressed by how honest and brave this post is. It must have been a really difficult decision but I think you did the right thing.

    I’ve ended a relationship to travel (that luckily, really needed to end anyways), and I’ve also had relationships disintegrate because of distance but luckily I haven’t had to experience both at once. I’m a strong believer that you have to do what’s right for yourself and that happiness can only come out of that. It did for me- I met a guy who adores travel just as much as I do, and I’m sure it will for you!
    Stephanie recently posted..The Real Reason I Came Back to China

  19. says

    What a heart wrenching post. I can imagine how difficult it must have been for you to write this. I know how you’re feeling. I’ve also tried to do the long distance thing. But your decision must have been difficult. Because you have to choose between 2 loves. Thanks for writing this Ayngelina. You help strengthen a lot of us.

    • Ayngelina says

      I try not to think that I chose one over the other. I thought in the end that I could have both and realized that was impossible.

  20. says

    Does being in your mid-30s worry you at all? I personally am 23 years old and feel that I have another good decade left in me of single life.

    On the other hand, many of my friends are approaching 30 and feel that they need to settle down.

    • Ayngelina says

      Before traveling I lived in Toronto and people settle down in their 30s so I didn’t really feel the pressure, in fact most of my friends are just now settling down. Once I hit Central America I met tons of women in their 30s who just weren’t ready. I actually think it may be an increasing trend no one has latched onto. Anyway after meeting them I started to realize there was nothing wrong with me, there were so many others like me.

      In a way it’s why I write many of the posts on this site, to show people they aren’t alone. I have the same insecurities, fears, vulnerabilities that they do.

  21. Carinda says

    I have only recently found your blog. This is an incredible piece of writing straight from the heart, raw and intense. Ive also gone through much of what you have written about, including running off to Peru last year. Love might be grand but its complicated as hell. Time heals all things and I applaud you for your courage. Looking forward to the next phase in your adventure and prsonal growth. And ain’t Peru simply THE BEST the place to do it :) ?

    • Ayngelina says

      Latin America is definitely a great place to deal with losing love one of the things it taught me was not to be afraid to feel, not to fear showing sadness or vulnerability.

  22. says

    oh ayngelina! i know it can be so hard…and even harder to write about, but you’ve done that so beautifully here. all we can do is trust our instincts and trust life to reveal later exactly why we were right in doing so. at least that’s what i’d rather cling to than clinging to something that doesn’t feel right today. you’ve had some time already, but hoping that writing this and reading the lovely comments take you to another level of healing. i’d imagine that the idea of going home is a bit scary and though you haven’t mentioned it here i feel compelled to assure you you’ll be just fine when that time comes too. thanks for writing this :)
    Lorna – the roamantics recently posted..Donating My Hair in Honor of a Friend on Earth Day

    • Ayngelina says

      You know the day I first emailed you was when I was contemplating writing this post. I just wanted you to know that there were people out there going through similar pain. I’ve always kept a journal and for me the best way to release is it to write about it.

    • Ayngelina says

      No regrets at all. Any sad moment is completely overshadowed by how much I grew as a person from knowing him.

  23. says

    What a beautiful post. I’m going through some similar pains and I think I’m finally getting comfortable with the idea of truly moving on. Thank you for the story and inspiration. I’ll be following your blog from now on. :)

    • Ayngelina says

      Thanks Paul. What I had hoped, and what has happened, was that other people would open up and share their story because I know we all have one.

  24. says

    Quite the heartfelt and honest post. There is no doubt that love, relationships, and our statuses therein play a major role in many of our decisions to travel or stay home. I had “the talk” last year in Amsterdam, and while I have never been happier in my life with planning a 2012 RTW and meeting new and amazing people in the travel world who share my passions, “it” will always be there like a favorite song from the past.
    Scott recently posted..My Dogs Abroad

    • Ayngelina says

      I can totally relate. I had a year to plan and save before I actually went, it was a tremendous strain to know the relationship was going to end.

  25. says

    This is a really brave and moving post, Ayngelina. Thank you for sharing it. Hopefully, writing about it and putting it out in the open has helped and it’s certainly true that time will eventually heal all wounds, corny as it sounds :) big hugs!

  26. Javi says

    I’ve read your post several times since I woke up this morning and I can’t help thinking the enormous sacrifice you made.

    And for someone in a similar process (or close) it helps envisioning the hardest part of leaving. I’m glad you got over it.

    Thanks for this inspiring post :)

  27. purdey spooner says

    Hey Girl.

    Your always so right, never afraid to say what we all feel.

    Be strong cause its all about the journey.

    I miss you girls. xx

  28. says

    Such a painfully honest post that, as reader, really gives us a glimpse into your heart. I am amazed by your strength. I have always promised myself that in a situation where I had to choose between Love and Travel that I would always be true to myself and follow my passion. But it’s hard to know until tested whether I could go through with my convictions.

    Thank you for sharing :)
    Sarah recently posted..A year ago- A guest post

    • Ayngelina says

      As I saved for the trip I did have a year to deal with it, although it was also difficult being with someone knowing there is an end date.

  29. says

    I just wonder why you wrote that post… It’s nice & he will for sure read it!

    And you know that he will… so maybe you two should maybe start skyping again & maybe make plans to travel together? 😉

    For me it sounds like you are both hurt & instead of finding a way to each other, you separate even more. But that’s just my 2 pence of reading an article… 😉
    Melvin recently posted..Breezing through the Windy City – 7 things to do when you are 2 days in Chicago

    • Ayngelina says

      I wrote the post because so many people were emailing with their own stories of wanting to travel but having people at home. You feel like you are alone but when you hear others are going through the same thing it feels less lonely.

  30. says

    This is a wonderful post – thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have just been through a similar difficult decision ( though not on the same scale) about whether to continue my PhD or not and even though I know it’s the right thing to do, it is still very hard to admit that I can;t do everything. I am sure that following your heart will pay off in the end. Looks like it already has…
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite recently posted..Not the Daring Bakers- it’s ok to say no

    • Ayngelina says

      Thanks Mardi, the tough decisions always seem to work out as they should, even it’s painful to deal with the repercussions.

  31. says

    What a great post! It is always nice to get to know a little more about our blogging friends and their pasts. I know it takes a lot to write something personal but it sounds like you are in a good place to share your story.

    I can’t imagine what you must have gone through but the fact that you are content with the situation now really says a lot. I’m glad that you are feeling better and it sounds like the relationship was good even as it was ending, that’s definitely something to appreciate. To have someone that can be selfless enough to understand what their partner needs is really rare, it’s great that you had his support and it lead to you finding yourself, even though it was without him.
    Annie recently posted..Discovering and Re-Discovering My Inner Writer

  32. says

    I can’t relate to the breaking up to travel thing. But I can say that once I had broken up, I truly discovered travel. And so in some ways it is very similar. Had I stayed with my ex I would never have learned the things about myself that I have and would never have been planning to do a solo RTW. The one line that stood out to me was “rather than be hurt I was relieved”. I can honestly say that that is how I felt after coming out of 7 year relationship and so I think you know deep down that it is the right thing to do. Love your honesty and applaud you for writing about this, it can’t have been easy.
    Julia recently posted..Booty Shaking and Falling in Bushes- A Majorca Conference

    • Ayngelina says

      One of the things we truly connected on was travel and it was some of my favourite memories. We both agreed spending money on experience was more important than things. At some point you are just grateful that you grew as a person and realize it’s time to move on.

  33. says

    Wow, what a wonderful, heartfelt post. I can so relate even though my situation was so different. Breaking up with my ex had nothing to do with travel at the time and I was the one who cut off contact – I cried as I unfriended him, deleted his number and his email, but I knew I had to do it to move on. But it all made me so much stronger and I don’t think I’d be planning the trip I am now if we had stayed together.

    It may sound cheesy, but I like to believe that everything happens for a reason and in the end, we all end up where we’re supposed to be and with who we’re supposed to be with.
    Katie recently posted..Five Favorite Things in Trier- Germany

    • Ayngelina says

      I completely agree with you and days that it hurts I remember it will all work out. And although it hurt to be unfriended, it needed to be done and I would have never had the courage.

    • Ayngelina says

      It wasn’t easy but I was compelled by the people who wanted to know what my secret was or how to make it easier. There is no secret, it was incredibly difficult and still is.

  34. says

    This is your best post ever. It’s beautiful, heartwarming, touching, sad and inspiring. I feel like I got an extra glimpse into who you are. I hope one day we can drink wine and talk about our failed loves and the great places it’s taken us. xoxo

  35. says

    I love this post, Ayngelina, I’m so glad you shared it. Love is one of the biggest things that can happen in our lives, and so is travel for those of us to whom it’s important. Trying to balance the two or choosing between them can be incredibly difficult and not a little painful, but it’s always a learning experience – I think we learn more about ourselves by loving someone else and/or by traveling than through any other human experience. Hats off to you for having the courage to do both!
    Jessalyn recently posted..A Whirlwind Tour- Ready- Set- Go!

    • Ayngelina says

      Because travel is intrinsically selfish, something we do for ourselves, in a lot of ways I think of it as choosing myself over him – rather than travel over him.

  36. says

    I shed a few tears, reading this, both for you and because it reminded me vividly of something which happened to someone very close to me a couple of years ago. The circumstances were slightly different, but the parting and the consequences identical. I was there at the parting, and it tore my heart out. It must have taken so much for you to bare your soul like this, and I hope that it has helped to heal the wounds which are not yet quite healed.

    If it helps. I did the opposite thing many moons ago, and opted for the stay-at-home life, against what my soul was trying to tell me. Fear of the unknown made me shout it down every time it tried to tell me otherwise. It is undoubtedly, the single, most stupid mistake of my entire life. On a personal level I regret nothing, only because I have the best two sons on earth, but on every other level it’s my biggest regret, and I would definitely advise anyone younger to go for it, as you have done. No doubts at all on that score!

    Much luck, happiness and rewarding times in your next phase.
    Linda recently posted..Requiem for the Typewriter

    • Ayngelina says

      Wow Linda thanks for sharing such an open and honest comment. As much as I have been afraid of the unknowns I’ve been more afraid of the what ifs. He really encouraged me to go, if he hadn’t I’m not sure I would have.

  37. says

    Ayngelina, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to write this post. Though it sounds trite, I doubt the pain will ever go away but in time, it will lessen. Either way, I’m sure that your experiences with him have made you stronger.

  38. says

    What a beautiful post! Thanks for being so open and sincere. I hope you’ll never regret your decision and will find new love one day.

  39. says

    You amaze me, Ayngelina! Your approach to things–to travel, to life, etc.–is fantastic. There’s something very straightforward and anti-BS about you that I really admire. You take something intense, personal and complicated and talk about it, face it and process it an such an authentic way. Many people can’t/don’t…

    I’m sure that none of this (the breakup and subsequent ‘stuff’) was easy, but…because you needed to do certain things, you were going to change. And then, had you gone back at a certain point, your relationship would have been different anyway because you would have been different.

    Your post, btw, reminds me of myself…before traveling to and then living in Ecuador, I was involved with someone. He wanted a different life than I did (marriage, kids, etc.). And we went our separate ways. I needed adventure, etc. Timing and how it went down were very different than your story….still, I relate on some level.

    Anyway, ’nuff said. Great post and powerful insights!
    Lisa @chickybus recently posted..Trippy Travel Photos 5-10…Guess what and guess where

  40. says

    I know your story all to well. Its really hard to say what is meant to be will be and what isn’t meant to be won’t be.

    I really wish that I could change things in my on relationship and I too feel like I talk about it on my blog as if its some sort of accomplishment. Some sort of challenge I came to live that shows off my strength.

    But it’s not like that really. In fact, it’s the one thing in my life I’m still the weakest about and can’t even stand to confront it.

    LOVE…LIFE… its crazy.
    Laur @ The Mad To Live recently posted..Do you have the GUTS to ask yourself THE Question

  41. says

    Thank you for sharing this!

    I too have had a similar experience. Incredibly similar, actually…

    We had been telling each other all would be ok once she came down to visit me in Peru. But it obviously wasn’t ok. Less & less contact, nothing to talk about, jealously over stupid things, etc.

    The writing was on the wall, but neither of us wanted to admit it. I finally decided to end it before Peru, otherwise we’d be in this perpetual cycle of limbo…

    While I know it was best, I still miss her. Getting cut off from all contact was the worst too!
    Matt | ExpertVagabond recently posted..Blissfully Ignorant- Environmental &amp Social Impacts of Travel

  42. says

    Wow, what a heart-felt post. Many years ago, I traveled to escape the end to a long relationship that was very painful. Travel was a fun way to experience the world around me and enjoy my passion. However, there were moments in some of the most beautiful places where the pain would creep up unexpectedly. In dealing with life and relationships, no matter where we go we have to learn to deal with loss. Best of luck in dealing with this break up. I can relate to how you feel.
    Jeremy B recently posted..5 ways a vacation package can save you money when you travel

  43. says

    Ayngelina, what a heartfelt, honest post, I’m so happy you shared how difficult this past year has been. Through your travels, you have shared so much with your readers, and now we know how difficult and pensive some of the moments must have been during your trips. I do think that too often people assume everything is fine when you’re really not, so I think it’s important for people to realize that it’s ok not to be fine, and to talk about it. I’m sure this past year you have learned so much about yourself and have grown as a person. I know I’m still learning something new and maturing with each difficult experience I am faced with.
    Jeanette recently posted..Gluten-Dairy-Egg-Soy Free Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

  44. says

    This post totally brought tears to my eyes. I too broke up with someone to follow the vision of what I wanted my life to look like, and have been broken up with because the person had to spread his wings. Thank you for the reminder that it takes courage to leave in good times OR bad and to feel your feelings throughout it. You’re an inspiration my dear for your vulnerability and honesty.

    • Ayngelina says

      Wow thanks Natalie. I’ve started to realize that it doesn’t matter if the other person has the same interests or friends, it comes down to how they see their future and what they want out of life. Often it’s not what we want.

  45. says

    I too felt connected to this article, not from the perspective of walking away from love, but just from the sense of loss. I can understand that this last year has probably in some ways been the best and worst of your life. But everything that happens brings you to where you are right now, which is pretty fucking awesome. We’ve gotta have the downs in life in order to have the ups. :)

    That Stars song is one of my fave all-time songs. The line “Live thru this, and you won’t look back” plays in my head through any number of tough situations. Love it.
    Dalene – Hecktic Travels recently posted..Embracing Change

    • Ayngelina says

      Thanks Dalene, I wouldn’t trade this year for anything and while there have been sacrifices, it always works out in the end.

  46. Ryan says

    I think what is difficult is caring for someone but being on a completely different path. Sure the paths intersect and you can find shortcuts but eventually there are no more shortcuts and you realize your paths are going in different directions. The good news is there will be two paths going in the same direction, they just haven’t joined up yet AND there won’t be shitty obstacles in your way…it will be smooth sailing….hopefully somewhere warm :)

    • Ayngelina says

      I love the idea of paths intersecting, for a time, but then you continue on. It’s a nice way to look at things.

  47. says

    I agree with what many others have already said– AMAZING post. I read every sentence carefully, every sentence with understanding (because I have dealt with something similar in the past when I travelled for 3 months). This summer, I am leaving my boyfriend, apartment, and puppy at home and will be travelling to the US and Europe. But I pray that I never get disconnected from my life here in Canada.

    I understand that the whole moving thing may have hurt him a lot. But I figured that after a little time and after him moving on, that he would learn how to accept it and just be friends–even distant friends. So it kinda saddens me to read that he deleted you from Facebook.

    But you, my darling, are a superstar. I admire you for packing your bags and doing what you wanted to do. Hello, strong and determined lady :)
    Leanne recently posted..The cute tourist

    • Ayngelina says

      I think friendship could still be in the future for us, but not now when feelings are too raw. He’s an amazing person and I’m so lucky to have known him but our time has passed and we need some distance.

  48. says

    I love this post because it reveals the truth behind travel – that it is a choice and that as with any choice in life compromises must be made. Too often travel gets written about through only a misty, romantic lens. (I think this is especially true because we travelers get a little defensive about our choices sometimes.)

    Sounds to me like it was worth it, but that doesn’t mean you don’t count the cost.
    Mara recently posted..Mondays are for dreaming- The kids in Japan

    • Ayngelina says

      So many of us gloss over what it really takes to do something like this. It’s not about saving money or leaving your job, it’s about walking away from a life and the people in it.

  49. says

    Couldn’t bring myself to ‘like’ this post because it’s too heart-rending. Clicking a button just seemed trite after all of that.

    I applaud you for following your heart, even though it meant leaving a piece of it behind.

    Still, I am a bit sad now.
    Katrina recently posted..Morocco- City of the Dead

    • Ayngelina says

      Don’t be sad. I’m not sad at all. I just wanted people to know that people struggle with similar things, we all make these tough decisions and this one was mine.

  50. Eugenie says

    I actually got goosebumps reading this post.

    Such a hard chose to make.
    Still, I can relate to some point.

    I always think that if you aren’t happy, you won’t be happy in the relationship, so the other person won’t be happy either.
    So if you had chosen to stay, but always longed to travel, perhaps the relationship wouldn’t have worked out anyway.

    Thinking like this is what gives me the strength to chose for myself without feeling too selfishly. Some people understand it, others think that you don’t really love the person…but sometimes love alone isn’t enough

    • Ayngelina says

      Eugenie, you are so right at some point I knew the regret of not going would be stronger than the regret of going.

  51. says

    Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I debated commenting on your post because, while I feel like I just have to say something, I’m also completely speechless after reading it. Very moving and I admire you for having the courage to post it.

    (And on a lighter note, did I really have to read this on the same day as the Royal Wedding? I *was* feeling all “fairy tales and romance”.) :)
    Tammy recently posted..Playing with fire in Iceland- Part II- This way to hell

    • Ayngelina says

      I’m so happy you commented. If anything I wanted to open up the discussion. I wrote for an entire year and never breathed a word. Now it’s out in the open.

  52. says

    Wonderful post. I had a similar experience, except that I was the one who stayed home. I always knew he would leave; he’s a person who had to go out and see .. everything. I completely understand how heart wrenching an ending like this can be. Writing this post is incredibly brave, I’m not sure I could be so honest on my blog.
    Lynn @ I’ll Have What She’s Having recently posted..Egyptian Date Crescents

  53. says

    What a long break up. It’s definitely more complicated than it first seems… I also left my love, a job, and a house (I was actually a homeowner, whoa) and traveled.. It was a tough breakup for me too.. But my healing was mostly before I boarded the plane as I didn’t start traveling until about a year after the breakup and didn’t get into a new relationship until two years.. Good luck in your journey. It’s wonderful and powerful how song lyrics can get you through. For me, it was “This is Not the End” by Laura Gibson..
    Janet Brent recently posted..Longevity Life Lessons with Lolo

  54. says

    Oh, hun, you have no idea how much I related to this post.

    I had to walk away from the love of my life a year ago because we both knew we wanted different things. He’d already been travelling across the world, had his dream job and was looking to settle down in one place.

    I wanted to go travelling and – more than that – become a TEFL teacher so that I could travel with my work, go where the job takes me.

    I don’t leave until November but I ended things with him in February 2010. It broke his heart. Then it broke mine. I still love him so much … I honestly couldn’t imagine ever finding someone else I’d feel this way about. It took us over a year to get to where we are now: Friends.

    It was a lot of me helping him with his heartbreak, then him helping me with mine, Us seeing each other with other people, so much hurt.

    Now it’s mostly through text, Facebook and Twitter that we talk. He’s one of my best friends in the world – He understands and encourages my travels and I’ve honestly never met anyone more supportive than him (he’s more supportive than my own family!).

    I know you didn’t ask for a biography of my love life but I just connected to your story so much. You’re so strong to have come out of this the way you have. I know it’s not an easy thing to do.
    Ceri recently posted..Who knew

    • Ayngelina says

      I have happily married friends who told me that interests and commonalities mean nothing, it’s all about what you want to do with your life.

  55. says

    brave of you to share this post :) A relationship I was in before I started travel ended the opposite way for me where I was left for someone else but thats what made me get my butt in gear and hit the road and I haven’t looked back since, I am such a better person without him and because of us breaking up and well now of course because of travel :)

  56. says

    It tough. Love is not enough, you have to have the same dreams. If he had convinced you to stay, you would have eventually resented him right?

    I’m a believer in deleting people from social media in order to move on. It’s not malicious, it’s just for peace of mind.
    Roy | cruisesurfingz recently posted..Maybe You Shouldn’t CouchSurf!

    • Ayngelina says

      I know it often seems like a cruel decision in which there would be heartbreak either way but in the end I did the right thing.

  57. says

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like many people have faced similar situations!

    I had a very similar situation about a year ago and the only way I could manage was to do all the unfriending business. It was just too hard to move on with my own life knowing that she was off doing her own thing without me. I didn’t want to be reminded of that every time I got online. It’s still the same situation a year on, but I think things will be easier for me this year. I’m not sure if you can ever look back on those times without some sort of emotion – much like when someone close dies.
    Adam @ SitDownDisco recently posted..Australia Roadtrip – South Australia

    • Ayngelina says

      It was sad but satisfying to write. I just wanted to let others know that I am not some special person with strength they cannot find. It was tough and amidst all the great things I did this year it was always in the background.

  58. says

    OMG You mean you are not perfect, the world is not all roses and everything isnt massages and white sand beaches?

    So many times bloggers and travel writers maintain this facade that everything is perfect, everything is roses, etc, because they are afraid of writing anything about themselves. Call it a self fulfilling prophecy if you will.

    I am so proud of you and happy to be a dedicated reader to what you are going through. You are a real person, you have real emotions, thank you so much for showing that.
    Justin Hamlin recently posted..Foto Friday

  59. says

    I’m really glad you wrote this. Must have been cathartic.

    I’m sorry for the pain and heartache you’ve felt. I hope that in time you’ll look back and know that you’ve healed.

    I think you were very brave to leave him and learn to live your life “by a different set of rules”?

    On a lighter note… who did you start seeing???!!! 😉
    Anita recently posted..Please- Don’t Be A Pretentious Traveler Part II

    • Ayngelina says

      I have to leave one topic that I don’t write about on this blog :) but he has been mentioned, just not in that context. But alas it ended when I left the country.

  60. says

    When I found out that you also ended a long term relationship before traveling, I knew I needed to search out the post you wrote about it. You were brave to do it and even braver to put it out in the world for everyone to read.

    While my breakup was a little different, maybe not as amicable, I can definitely echo a lot of these sentiments. I’m so glad you are in South America and happy!
    Rease recently posted..Argentine Medical Exams- Unexplained Coins- Angry Clam Chairs and Shin Viewings

  61. Emily says

    I am literally going through this same scenario…
    I am moving to Florida and am planning to vacation over seas after I move. My boyfriend and I at first decided on a long distance relationship, he has always been so supportive of me in that he wants me to follow my goals. But he doesn’t even have a passport, he doesn’t have the desire to travel and that has been a goal of mine since I was young, I am so incredibly torn between my dream of traveling the world and the only man that has ever made me feel the way I do. Prior to the relocation to Florida he and I had been discussing marriage. His schooling and work doesn’t allow him to travel right now even if he wanted to and I feel like this is an opportunity I shouldn’t miss out on… Yet I don’t want to go and loose this man who I love so much….
    I guess I am looking for advice if you have any, especially since you went through the same dilemma
    I don’t mean to be whiney I am just so, so torn right now and the clock is ticking,,,

  62. says

    Oh honey *hugs* I know how it feels. Like I commented on your other guest post, I decided to take an opportunity to study Arabic in Egypt for free for a year (scholarship). At first my fiance didn’t want to break up, he said he loved me so much and of course he would stay, but at the same time he wanted me to follow my dreams. Four months later, he broke up with me. I think really what happened is he realized that he loved me too much…and loved me enough to understand we were not meant to be together, he would only “hold me back” and that I would be happier without him. Three years later, it is still hard for HIM to even see me, even though he’s who broke up with me. Don’t get me wrong, it is very hard on me too, but it’s for the best. When people love each other that much and can’t be romantically together, a friendship is just not possible, unfortunately.

    “But because human emotions are complicated he was both proud of me for going and resented me for leaving. In return I loved him for encouraging me to go and resenting him for not insisting that I stay.”

    You hit the nail! Exactly what happened with my ex and I *sighs* h well hon, we are strong, we have a bright future, everything happens for the best reason *hugs* if you need to talk please know I’m here (even though you don’t really know me!). I know *exactly* what you’re going through and also know talking to someone that *truly* understands can really help sometimes =)
    Maria Alexandra @latinAbroad recently posted..Hurricane Katrina: A special travel tale

    • Ayngelina says

      Wow that is an incredible story. I’m not sure if we will ever be friends. I know we will eventually try to but it may not be in the cards for us either.

  63. says

    Awww… I just went through and read this and I have to admit… it made me tear up a bit!

    I’m so thankful that I have James to go on adventures with, and I can’t imagine travelling without him. I did a breif two weeks holiday backpacking through Malaysia and I found that I am not the type of person that can do solo travel very easily.

    I have moved away on my own to new countries by myself, but that is totally different than solo backpacking.

    I think it was very strong of you to be able to leave your relationship but it must have been so so hard. I have used travel as a means to run away from an abusive relationship, but I have never had to leave a loving one.

    Good luck with everything in the future!
    Jade Johnston recently posted..The Best Way To Work, Stay, And Play In Canada

    • Ayngelina says

      Solo travel wasn’t easy in the beginning because we had always traveled together and often it was the best moments of our relationship.

      But someday I will find that person who I can travel with again.

      And yes you are very lucky.

  64. says

    I just read this Ayngelina and it’s very heartbreaking. Made me cry. At least you’re doing something for yourself now. I am a new believer of the notion that self-love is the best kind of love because it helps you grow to become a better person. And in that process, you make others around you happy too. It’s been months since you posted this so I hope you’re doing much much better now.
    AdaTheDaydreamer recently posted..The FHM For Travel Bloggers

    • Ayngelina says

      Ada thanks so much for writing, even now.

      This was probably my most cathartic post, mostly because people looked at me in awe and I felt a bit like a fraud not to tell people I was in pain too.

      I wish I could say everything was perfect now. It’s not. But I’m okay with that.

  65. menina says

    *raises hand* add me to this long list of heartbroken travelers please! i was in a loving relationship of 12 years (been together since we were 17. the only man i’ve ever loved). we traveled the world together. the comfort of having grown up together made it difficult to accept that we’ve actually grown into two different people who want different things out of life. it was too hard to stay in the same town so i left and flew far far away. i actually just started my trip a month ago, staying with family and friends, after moving out of our place a month prior to my departure. so i am still in that process of healing as we speak. sometimes the sadness is so overwhelming that i can’t get myself to get out there to see the sights. can’t even get excited enough to explore this beautiful country i’ve never been to, it just isn’t the same not being able to share it with him. i feel like i’m living someone else’s life. i have moments where i would stay in for days listening to sad songs. still not used to doing everything by my lonesome. but i know this time alone is necessary. to be kind to myself, get to know who i am, be independent and gain courage everyday. thank you for sharing.

    • Ayngelina says

      My loneliest and happiest moments were on long bus rides, sad that he wasn’t there to see all the beautiful sights, happy I was strong enough to do it myself.

      Sometimes you are so entertwined with someone it’s hard to unravel the relationship so that you can be on your own.

      Good luck, I know how painful it can be.

  66. says

    Hi Ayngelina – thanks for stopping by my blog! I came here to check out your blog and I have to say, this is one of the most captivating posts I’ve read in a long time. Reading it, I felt like I was going through the experience with you. Thanks so much for sharing, and I also applaud your courage to follow your heart instead of doing whatever everyone says you “should” do. I wish I had that kind of courage!

  67. says

    I absolutely loved your post and I love the way you have written it. I’ve been through this as well, but from your boyfriend’s perspective. 10 years ago I met someone who absolutely captivated my heart. He has always had the urge to be out in the world to experience new places and people. I was settle and happy here. It was incredibly difficult to let it it go, but like you said, when you love someone, you have to let them go. When you feel that need in you that there is something you absolutely have to do – travel, move, dance – whatever – then that is something you have to listen to it at all cost. I applaud you for having the courage to listen to your heart.

    Well, this is the funny thing… 10 years have passed and that boy I loved has come around. Over the last 10 years I have changed too – I now have that urge to go abroad and experience the world. So this summer, we are doing it together.

    Life is beautiful in that way. You have to listen to your heart and have faith that everything will fall into place. Whatever is meant to be, will be, but make sure that you listen to your heart in the process and make you happy. Which you know how to do.

    Much much love to you!! Enjoy South America!!

  68. says

    Wow. Powerful post.
    I feel I’m in the same position you were when you decided to leave and live your dream Good for you. You’re inspiring. Leaving comforts and leaving love are not easy! Thanks for being so honest.

    I’m currently living in Spain and left my bf behind. Simply in different phases in life. Difficult as you know. Sometimes I feel crazy because I/we’re trying to make this long distance thing work but I’ve been learning a tremendous amount about myself and when we have more difficulty than good times over the phone, I wonder… maybe we’re not meant to be.
    Love how you fused music into your post. It’s true. The universe always conspires to make things work how they are suppose to, even if it’s difficult in the moment.

    happy travels and happy writing!

  69. Johnny says

    OMGosh, this is exactly what I am facing. First, my soul mate left the planet 2 1/4 years ago. The loneliness was horrible but I eventually got used to it, under the guise of which I hatched my never-ending travel idea. But THEN I met a woman a few months ago and darn it if we aren’t now in love! She has reminded of how incredible this is. She can’t travel with me. Damnit, now what am I supposed to do? The business is sold and I have to be out of the house mid-August. Hmph. Argh. Pish-ah.

  70. Tina says

    This is exactly what im facing .we have love but we re not have a same dream.We re see thing
    difference .I have to to to do my own thing ,to do what i want to do for long time .Im planing a trip to Europe .as this ‘s the first time i travel alone .I dont know what is waiting for me and how i can cope with it.but I’ll do it.Thanks for your post made me more confident to go on.

    • Johnny says

      And I, too, am in this same situation. However, I remain in conflict. I have to be out of my house 22 August and have no idea how this will shake out. Stay to stay present, centered and grounded, but much anxiety, too.

  71. Amanda says

    My boyfriend and i just split up because hes leaving to travel to europe and he doesn’t know how long. he wants to go alone so we had no other option than to break up. Its been 5 days and i desperately want to call him to tell him lets stay together until he leaves so we can be happy. Im not sure what to do, i just want him to be happy. Since your on the other end i was wondering if i could have any advice? This story was very inspiring. It makes me think a little differently about the whole situation

  72. says

    It’s amazing how music provides the perfect lyrics for whatever’s going on in one’s life at the time. Separating from my husband sparked my own journey to South America, and for several months, Coldplay’s X&Y provided my backdrop. I can still remember like it was yesterday riding on the bus overnight from Cusco to Bolivia, watching the gorgeous Milky Way, listening to the lyrics:

    I’m diving off the deep end
    You become my best friend
    I wanna love you
    But I don’t know if I can
    I know something is broken
    And I’m trying to fix it
    Trying to repair it
    Any way I can

    For months those lyrics resonated in my soul until one day they no longer did, I no longer felt like I needed to fix anything, I was okay just as I was.

    Music, traveling, healing–they all seem to go hand in hand, at least for some of us. It’s a blessing to read your blog to find how much you’ve experienced and grown over the past couple years. Here’s to more learning, to more growing, and to more healing no matter where life takes you!

  73. Zel says

    I understood your boyfriend and same like where in the same situation but I know also the feeling of being alone. LDR really sucks! I feel that you are still love him, if you think it ended that way you should talk to him personally. And as for my opinion, if a person really loves you that person will waits for you no matter what.

  74. says

    This was very moving to read! I think because I am potentially about to go through a similar situation. I am moving to the other side of the world soon, and leaving someone behind. We haven’t been together for long, however there’s just something so different about him and I haven’t met someone I’ve connected with so well in such a long time. When we got together I knew I was leaving. I had already booked my flights.

    Just the thought of leaving and ending it scares me, but I know that the adventure and life experiences I will get from living in a new country are very worthwhile.

    I guess like with you, time will tell whether we are able to remain friends! :)

    • Ayngelina says

      You know time always gives you perspective and I realized that if he were really the one I would have never met him. There’s been time and distance and now we are friends.

  75. says

    I and my boy friend as been separated for a long period, I cam across different spell caster and they were all unable to bring my lover back. I was so sad and almost gave up on him when i met a spell man Dr lako that helped me get my lover back. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldn’t believe it would happen. He also helped me with success spell, I have been living happily with my lover now and will be getting married soon. Here is his contact if you need his help [email protected]

  76. Laurel says

    I just sortof stumbled onto your blog and this post…although of course I brought it to me as I’m finding myself for the first time in love with my SO but still wanting to up and run. Law of Attraction, right?

    So, thank you for this post and your blog and for being such a source of comfort and inspiration.

  77. homebody says

    I can’t help feeling you wrote this so that all the people above would validate you and tell you what a wonderful decision it has been for you. It has been a terrible decision for him. Why did you get together with someone knowing you wouldn’t see it through? I think you’re greedy, selfish and have far too high an estimation of your own ‘need for experience’. He’ll find it very hard to trust again, and he might never have the secure relationship and family that he always wanted. What about that ‘experience’? It is you who are running away from reality. One day you will be tired of travelling, old and lonely. You think another wonderful person will just come into your life because you’re so experienced and cool and independent, but they might not.

    • Ayngelina says

      I am sorry you feel that way. I wrote this post nearly two years ago because people kept asking me how I had the strength to do it. I felt like people thought I was special and had some kind of extra inner strength when the truth is it was very difficult to do.

      Today I can look back and know that I made the right decision. My ex and I are not together but very much friends and agree that I did the right thing. It was very difficult and definitely a risk but if I had stayed here I may have resented him. I doubt we would be together today. He has dated since me and is with someone now.

      You are right maybe someone else won’t come along. But I cannot hold onto someone who isn’t right out of fear for that.

  78. says

    God…I came back to this and re-read it for what is probably the 7th or 8th time. I identify with it now more than I ever previously did. Love is a crazy, complicated roller coaster. It feels like ecstasy one minute then it hurts like a broken limb without a cast the next.

    Live through this and you won’t look, back. Repeat this, Kristin. Repeat.
    Kristin Addis recently posted..Instagrammed Thailand and Australia

  79. Aimee says

    I came across your post trying to find out answers or advise on what I should do.
    I am in a very similar situation now. I have always wanted to travel (I live in the UK), but at the age of 18 I met my boyfriend. I am now almost 21 and I do not regret being with him. He is my everything and I love him dearly. But I need to travel. Your post hit home and reading it almost broke my heart. You are an amazing woman and it has given me hope. Although I’m still confused as hell and have no idea what I’m going to do. Thank you for sharing this, I hope you have an amazing, happy life :)

  80. Kev says

    I am on the receiving end of this experience. I feel like reading this give me a glimpse of how tough it was for my ex to broke up with me.

    My ex was really unhappy with everything like family, her job and her future at the time and she decided to move to chase her dreams of becoming a dancer. It broke my heart to see how upset she was and I said yes because I know how much it meant to her. Of course she was also young and wanted to travel and meet new guys. That’s a thing she have always wanted to do and she did’t want any baggage. She also felt like constantly thinking of this and being too depressed to spend time with me was unfair to me. So we broke up 8 months before she is planning to leave.

    We tried to remain friends afterwards. She was the first person who I ever ever loved so much and cared so much about, but she was only my second girlfriend. I didn’t know how to handle this and trying to be friends didn’t work at all. We hooked up a few times while she or we were drunk. And she would always tell me she just happen to be horny and drunk, not because she is still attached to me. I appreciate it but it still hurt.

    Two days ago would have been our third anniversary and realizing that really brought back the feelings. I have gotten better since we decided to keep distance from each other and having that feeling again was terrible. Then on top of that I found out that she is dating another guy now. I don’t know if it’s casual or not but to know that she decided to do this but get with another guy a few months before she leaves, and seeing that in person really sucks. It’s not entirely relevant to your story but I hope I can live through this and not look back as well.

    My friends keep telling me I will get better soon but I know it will take a while. I think reading your story make me understand her more. I also know how she would have been if we didn’t split up til she has to leave. Thank you Ayngelina

  81. says

    Hi, I had to comment on this because it resonated so well with something I am potentially about to go through.

    I left my boyfriend to travel and we cut all contact – it didn’t last a week and for the past 2 months we have spoken every day and I have even decided to go home for good.

    However, I think deep deep down I know I will regret going back. I just don’t know if I’m strong enough to do it. I can’t imagine not talking to him every day and from the time we didn’t speak before, no matter how many people were around me the world became a very lonely and miserable place.

    Every day I go between ‘yes I want to keep travelling’ and ‘no I have to go home, I love and want to be with him’.

    The decision is not getting easier and feel like I need some help.

    Did you feel lonely when you first ended it with him? Like you couldn’t enjoy even the most amazing experiences if you didn’t have him to share them with (even via skype or text).

    I really don’t know what to do, any advice would be so much appreciated..



    • Ayngelina says


      I cried almost every day. We also spoke almost every day. It took me 6 months of traveling to finally let him go. If you haven´t bought your ticket I urge you to continue traveling. Eventually I became stronger and we spoke less and I realized that this was a wonderful time to have one great last solo adventure. Learning to enjoy doing things on your own is a skill that becomes a joy. You need to learn this, stay on the road.

      We didn´t get back together but I don´t regret leaving for a minute and now we are good friends.

      And feel free to write me whenever you want. I do know how you feel.

  82. says

    Holy!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!
    Seriously Ayngelina??!!

    When U answered my questions for the interview “Get Inspired” I thought you are and you were very honest, once i found the time to read this post, because it was on my to do list…. Just WOW!

    I may need to arrange another interview with you my dear!! I will be calling it – “Up, Close & Personal” Could be my next project… :)

    I truly hope you are doing well, and may you have safe travels my dear,

    Mo recently posted..Get Inspired: Interview with Ayngelina Brogan – BaconIsMagic

    • Ayngelina says

      I really felt like I had to share this story because people thought I was extraordinarily brave and in some ways it felt false because I wasn’t sharing all of the heart ache I had been experiencing. I just want people to know that I understand their hurt and their self-doubt but in the end as tough as it was, it was the right thing to do.

  83. Caitlin says

    I remember reading this post nearly a year ago when I was thinking about joining the military. Now I read it as a recently commissioned Navy officer who will be leaving my boyfriend to live on the other side of the country for the next few years. That being said, I really appreciate this post. You seem very honest and genuine when talking about your own decision to leave and how it impacted your relationship. I struggled for a long time with my decision to join the Navy. On one hand, I was afraid I would regret leaving my boyfriend behind. On the other hand, I was afraid that I would regret not doing what I truly wanted to do with my life. Either way, I knew I would wonder what could have been? I think this is an inevitable question that everyone asks at some point in their lives… Anyway, I leave next month for ODS, then make my move. It is a bittersweet time in my life. I know it’s going to break my heart leaving him here, but I’m also excited to begin my own adventure. I would be lying if I said a part of me wasnt afraid of what’s to come, but I hope that no matter what, this experience makes me a stronger person. Thanks again for sharing. This was an excellent post!

    • Ayngelina says

      Congratulations on the next step in your life, it is so exciting!

      Did you ever hear the advice that when you are contemplating something you should think about how you will feel in 1 day, 1 month and 1 year. Even here after a year I knew it was the right thing to do. Now that it’s over 3 years I realize that as painful as it was it was the best thing I could have done. Just keep reminding yourself you’re doing the right thing and it will help you get through the rough patches.

  84. Nat says

    I’m so glad I found your blog, as I feel torn everyday between staying with my perfect boyfriend of 3 years and living my dream life and seeing the whole world. Although I’m only very early twenties I know the decision needs to happen now, before I do my degree, buy a house and settle with my older boyfriend. I am so scared- when I think about it, it feels like time is flashing before my eyes and I’m literally staring at a fork in the road. I’ve always known the conventional life is not for me.

    • Ayngelina says

      I’ll be honest living an unconventional life can be really tough and traveling so much means I’m not an ideal girlfriend at all. But I keep reminding myself that I wasn’t happy with the 9-5 job and choosing this lifestyle was the best thing I’ve done.

      But I also know that when you make a choice it doesn’t have to be forever. In five years if I want something different I can pursue that. We seem to think that choices are so monumental but they aren’t. If you make a choice and it isn’t working out for you just do something different!

  85. says

    Reading your blog and all the comments has made me insanely sad and realistic; I am about to be in a similar situation, just with a difference that my boyfriend decided to travel and to break us up. It tears me into pieces to read on your blog what will most likely happen to us – less and less contact until de-friending. It sounds horrifying to me, we’ve been together 24/7 for past 8 months.
    Our situation is quite different, I am going to study, which I had originally wanted before I met him – so technically we both are pursuing our “dreams”, but… I used to enjoy doing things on my own before, but since I’ve met him I realized that the best feeling for me is to share what I do with someone who understands me and wants to know about my life. My desire is to be with him, but I know it doesn’t make sense; we would be holding each other back, if one of us decided to follow the other one. Like you said, the regret of not doing what you want to do would be stronger than regret of going. We care about each other and want the best for each other and plan to stay in touch and support ourselves.

    Despite of all this realization I don’t know how to accept the idea that he will go from being mine to being my friend, who can date whoever and possibly find a love somewhere. It is so hard to love him unselfishly so I can let him go follow his dream. You write that being alone makes you know your true yourself, on the other side I know, he is the one who has made me better person and it’s hard to imagine he won’t be with me anymore.

    Your writing from his perspective helps me understand him a bit more, why he picks himself over me. But knowing that we will break up within couple of weeks makes me feel desperate and I am scared of my future although I know it will be alright in the end.

    I wished I had music to help me cope with all of this, but I don’t enjoy music, since all my favorite songs remind me of us being together and that is too much of a pain to bare.

    So much for sharing my story; it is painful, not the end of the world – someone would say, but right now it seems to me the end of our world together (and beginning of our separate worlds?)

    • Ayngelina says

      Wow Adriana thanks for sharing this with me. It’s now been over three years since I left him and we’ve moved on and become friends. If I can offer you any piece of advice it would be to take this time and learn to love doing things on your own again. Learn to be independent and approach this as if it may be the last time in your life you do things on your own. Enjoy the freedom now knowing that in time you will be with someone else again. It is a great adventure and if you look at it that way it will help you deal with the heart ache of walking away from a relationship.

  86. Adrianka says

    Dear Ayngelina,

    reading your blog and all the comments has made me insanely sad and realistic; I am about to be in a similar situation, just with a difference that my boyfriend decided to travel and to break us up. It tears me into pieces to read on your blog what will most likely happen to us – less and less contact until de-friending. It sounds horrifying to me, we’ve been together 24/7 for past 8 months.
    Our situation is quite different, I am going to study, which I had originally wanted before I met him – so technically we both are pursuing our “dreams”, but… I used to enjoy doing things on my own before, but since I’ve met him I realized that the best feeling for me is to share what I do with someone who understands me and wants to know about my life. My desire is to be with him, but I know it doesn’t make sense; we would be holding each other back, if one of us decided to follow the other one. Like you said, the regret of not doing what you want to do would be stronger than regret of going. We care about each other and want the best for each other and plan to stay in touch and support ourselves.

    Despite of all this realization I don’t know how to accept the idea that he will go from being mine to being my friend, who can date whoever and possibly find a love somewhere. It is so hard to love him unselfishly so I can let him go follow his dream. You write that being alone makes you know your true yourself, on the other side I know, he is the one who has made me better person and it’s hard to imagine he won’t be with me anymore.

    Thank you. Your writing from his perspective helps me understand him a bit more, why he picks himself over me. But knowing that we will break up within couple of weeks makes me feel desperate and I am scared of my future although I know it will be alright in the end.

    I wished I had music to help me cope with all of this, but I don’t enjoy music, since all my favorite songs remind me of us being together and that is too much of a pain to bare.

    So much for sharing my story; it is painful, not the end of the world – someone would say, but right now it seems to me the end of our world together (and beginning of our separate worlds?)

  87. says

    Thanks for confirming what I knew.
    My ex girlfriend wanted to travel. Surprisingly, South America.
    I broke up over this.
    Unlike your boyfriend, I did not understand. It felt like the most idiotic immature childish decision I had ever heard.
    Unlike your boyfriend, I let her go once and for all.
    I got it right it seems.

  88. Maybe Picky says

    I enjoyed your post and thanks for the song! Your Ex-Lover is Dead is a fantastic song and says so much so simply. I like to think of myself as a music collector and I appreciate the find!

    Finding meaning in lyrics … seems that’s the soundtrack to my life. So I don’t want to change yours and I can’t honestly be certain, but to me anyway it sounds like “there’s nothing to save”.

    Maybe I hear that because its more meaningful to me but really says the same thing.

  89. Milo says

    It feels like I’m reading my future. I’m planning to leave and travel, for 6-8 months, but secretly my dream is to do it indefinitely since I have a job where that’s possible, if I like it and am able to support myself. However, my longterm love is not able to do that, and doesn’t really want to. I haven’t decided what to do about that, but I’m afraid there’s going to be that point of a decision: him or my nomad dream. I’m scared my love for him will make me decide to stay in a place I’m not going to be happy forever, even if he makes me happy. It hurt to read your post and to know what might be ahead. I’m sorry you had to go trough this, but at least I’m glad I’m not the only one. Gives my strength. Thank you.

    • Ayngelina says

      It’s been nearly four years since I left and I don’t regret a thing. In the end we did not get back together but we have become good friends and now we’re both happily seeing other people. Perhaps it’s not the storybook ending I wanted but I’m much happier now than before I left.

  90. I love you always forever bear and far close and together everywhere I will be with you everything I will do for you says

    Your blog is a living breathing testament that men should NEVER GET MARRIED in todays era.

    Your blog is justification to womanizers bad boys players and pick up artists on why they believe women are ONLY GOOD FOR SEX.

    Your blog is a modern testament on why WOMEN ARE NO LONGER WOMEN ANYMORE.

    Your blog is an example of why giving most women your heart trust loyalty and love in today’s post feminist matriarchal era is a SUCKERS BET.

    Your blog is a pinnacle example of why women have made LOVE and most notably marriage, ARBITRARY (look it up dear).

  91. says

    Ironically, my boyfriend found me your blog to read as I am reliving your past decision and moving to Honduras in three days. I am happy he will be traveling with me for the first two weeks, but after that I am on my own.

    Our relationship was suffering before I made the decision to go, and has began to flourish once again under the new acceptance of allowing each other to be free. I know we both still dream that we will reunite but the truth is, there are no guarantees. As much as this reality hurts, I know that staying would have ended our relationship in far worse ways. We have been dating for two years and best friends for over ten years, even high school sweethearts back in 2003. I want him to be my love, but do not know what my future holds.

    Thank you for sharing your story, I look forward to seeing where mine will lead.
    Laura recently posted..My Crazy New Year’s Resolution

  92. L says

    Please, you didn’t love each other. If you truly love someone you don’t leave, you don’t see someone else. Real love never stops.

  93. jam says

    This post has really put things into perspective for me. I traveled 3 years ago and ended a relationship that was stagnent.
    I absolutely knew it was the right thing for me. And was the best 6 months of my life.
    Fast forward 3 years and I’m now on the receiving end of of having to break up whilst my girlfriend goes backpacking. Although she’s been gone 3 months, we’ve only cut contact for 4 weeks. It still hurts, a lot but I know this is exactly the right thing for her to be doing. Deep down, I think we both hold out hope that it will work out when she returns. Your post has really helped me to understand that if you have a dream you have to realize it. And if she hadn’t gone, or came back early, there would be nothing but resentment and regret.

  94. Tavia says


    I came across your blog post whilst searching for “I love my boyfriend but we both want different things” and it really hit a nerve.
    I am 20, and my boyfriend is 22; we have been together for 4 years. He is a very family orientated person and whilst I adore my family, my need and want for travel consume my thoughts every single day. Whilst he had said he would want to travel with me, I also want to experience living in other countries aside from the UK which I find very boring with a terrible climate. He, however is adamant he can’t live abroad ever due to his family being based in the UK. I am in my first year of University so we still have 2 or 3 years before this becomes a serious issue but the conversation has arisen and he is feeling very worried about it. My life aim has been to travel and explore the world however the thought of him not being with me scares me so much. He will not live abroad with me so the only other option would be for me to not follow my dreams or for us to split up, both of which I really don’t want!
    I hope you can give some advice. You seem like such an amazing and strong person, I wish I could be more like that!

    • Ayngelina says


      I can’t tell you what’s right for you but I will say 2 things:
      1) When I was 21 I was with an amazing boyfriend of 4 years, I also realized that perhaps I wanted to spread my wings and he did not and so we broke up. To this day I still consider him an amazing person – but he’s a friend. Our lives went in different directions and it was the right thing to do.
      2) I’m so happy you could relate to this post but my instinct is that if you’re reaching out to a stranger who ended a relationship to see if it’s the right thing for you to do as well then you already know what you want to do.

      As for the man I wrote about in this post, it was so hard to break from him but looking back it had to be done. We just wanted different things and in the end we’ve become friends. I didn’t think I had the courage to travel the world without him but I did and it made me a stronger, better person. I did have to sacrifice the relationship but I will never look back at my life wondering what if.

      I wrote this post to share that it wasn’t easy and it’s not that I’m a strong person. I cried on so many buses in Latin America because I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. But eventually I stopped crying and I realized I was doing the right thing. It was hard but I did it.

      I hope this helps and let me know how things go.

  95. says

    Hello all, this is an inspiration to my life as it currently is. I’ve been in a difficult relation for nearly 2 years and have booked my flight to South America, he wouldnt ever get out of his comfort zone , so wouldnt travel to unknown Countries, I have tried to leave but always end up back with him, he has started to really make changes and I’ve started to think what if and I should I stay with him, I know only I can answer these questions and know what I should do. I’m scared of making a mistake and letting him go but I dont know why, our relationship hasnt been the best. I really do appreciate this blog and to be honest it pushes me to gain my own independence and mind back! To be a stong woman again 😉 thank you x

  96. says

    I know that many people have commented on this before… but this post is something I seem to come back to time and time again throughout my current relationship. My boyfriend and I were supposed to travel together starting in September, but due to unforeseen circumstances, he won’t be able to go anymore… and I am now the one with a decision to make. This post actually helps me to understand that I’m not alone. I just wanted to thank you for this.
    Caitlin @ Neverending Wanderlust recently posted..The Best Of Tours, France

    • Ayngelina says

      Caitlin you will be surprised at how many people you meet who were in a similar circumstance. When you make the decision at home it can feel so lonely but while traveling you’ll meet so many people like you.

  97. Marie says

    Thank you for this post. I am grappling with a decision to teach abroad for a year…although I am in love with my boyfriend…this dream of mine has been longer than our year and a half relationship and I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I’m also immensely worried I’ll lose my boyfriend if I go though, because I really care for him. This post helped me to realize some struggles I may face, although I know every relationship is unique.

  98. says

    I know this post is a little dated however it hit really close to home with me (and apparently to many other people). I recently broke up with my boyfriend of almost three years so that I could travel (along with many other reasons – it just wasn’t meant to be) and although it’s clear that it’s the right decision, it still hurts. On my blog I don’t even mention him – it’s too fresh. Not that he doesn’t matter, but that it seems too real and intimate to share with the internet at this current time.
    I applaud you for writing this. It’s very honest and I appreciated reading it along with all of the comments from people who are in similar situations. It was helpful and made me feel not so alone in feeling this way.
    Marianne recently posted..My Oregon Trail – Part 2: Bend & The Cascade Lakes

  99. Scott says

    I am on the receiving end of such a situation just now. I was with a girl for 4 months who was a really good friend from university for 5 years, we got together just at the end of Uni and we both fell for each other pretty hard. By far the best relationship I’ve ever been in and she said she felt the same. She was booked to go to South America the whole time and so we knew it would come to an end and we agreed that would have to be the way it was.

    Shes been away about 3 weeks so far and i’m completely miserable. But now she’s telling me to come out and meet her for christmas and travel till summer with her. I really want to but will do you think we’ll still be as in love with each other as we are now after 14 weeks? What if I go out and it doesnt work out and I’m stuck in South America alone?
    My only other option is to completely cut her out of my life and try get over it because I can’t pretend everythings cool, but I REALLY dont want to do that.

    Heartbreak eh? What a pain in the ass!

    • Ayngelina says

      Well no one can predict if you will still be in love. But if you head to South America and you break up then you can travel on your own. Anyone who travels solo will tell you that solo doesn’t mean alone, as all the single people get together and travel as a group. In fact you meet more people solo than you do as a couple.

      It’s a tough thing to answer as I don’t know either of you and so much could change by Christmas, I don’t know if she’s experiencing everything in the moment if she’s still clinging to something back home. In the end I had to let go of my ex, it was too hard for both our lives to be in limbo. I’d give it a few months and if you’re still crazy about each other by November then there’s nothing crazy about experiencing an amazing region like South America.

      • Scott says

        Thanks for the reply. Well its now been 10 weeks and a lot of conversations have went back and forth. I basically said that even if I do go meet her to travel then she should go out and do what she wants while travelling so I’m not holding her back but she is insisting that is not what she wants to do. I have made it clear that I dont want her to miss out on anything but shes very clear that thats not what she wants…apparently. So it now looks like i’m going to be booking Brazil in January. I’m going to wait another month but it seems like its going to happen.

  100. says

    That was a heart breakingly beautiful article. Having just recently met someone and fallen for them badly I feel like I’m on the top of the world. But I’m about to go traveling. I don’t think I have ever felt so many emotions. As I read your article, it really hit me, how hard walking away is going to be. It will take a hell of a lot more than I realised to walk away knowing it’s ok to do so, and everything will work out eventually.

  101. Stefanie86 says

    Reading your blog has inpired me…
    So recently I went to Germany to meet the guy I like for he last 10 years, it turn out well..we had dinner, walking, and a glass of wine that nite. Thats it. The end of the meet up.. Found out he has already girlfriend makes me deny to contact him again. The next day, all the way to Innsbruck I was tearing.. Wonder the other passanger watching me, at the same time I am glad to meet him where I found him happy with his life but thinking oh poor me…
    I resented him to go…and try hard to release him of my mind. Thought I had a very good times in another 18 days of my staying in Western Europe, doing a trip with Italian man (my bestfriend) sort of replacing the sadness in my heart.. Still the soul of traveling much bigger than whatever happen in my love department.

  102. Caroline Keyzor says

    Its so lovely finding this blog and hearing similar stories. I broke up because our hopes and dreams were so different – he wanted to focus on his career in London and I had always wanted to travel and live abroad since I was little. I recently moved to New Zealand to work and travel. Sadly my ex has not been so supportive – his latest email a year later says with venom and sarcasm “you just really didn’t care about the 8 years we have been together, nothing would stand in your way to travel the instagram, round-the-world dream. Nothing. Well good luck to you, I hope it was all worth it for you I really do” This has been the hardest break up ever – he really didn’t understand what I wanted from life, and still doesn’t understand now despite numerous conversations about the subject. the guilt tripping just doesn’t stop.

    • Ayngelina says

      I think it would be tough to be on the other end. To have someone leave you because they wanted more.
      Clearly he isn’t over it and may be just holding onto the anger, hopefully time can help heal that for him.

  103. taylor says

    I just need to say that I’m very very very proud of the women on here who have followed their dreams. This was not always OK for us up until recently (socially). It takes so so so much courage to walk away from these situations to care after ourselves without being labeled selfish and a bitch. You guys give me hope!

  104. Jarred says

    Right now I’m at a point in my life where I am dating an amazing girl who I have fallen in love with, unfortunately however I went to Thailand a couple of months back and really had my horizons broadened, ever since that trip all I can think about is an insatiable urge to travel and how much I want to do it on my own. The problem is is that she is the sweetest, kindest and most amazing person that I have ever had the pleasure of dating and like I said I have fallen in love with her, even know it breaks my heart to write this but I feel like if I do not do this and I stay with this woman that I love that I will end up one day resenting or regretting my decision, please anyone out there, I need advice, I need guidance, I’m a fairly strong willed individual but this subject pains my heart deeply, thanks for talking the time to read this and I look forward to any advice.

  105. Uptourist says

    That moment when you let go not only of your love one but of your life and stop controlling every part of it, that’s when you’ll see your real life slowly unfolding in front of you.

  106. SJ25inlondon says

    I have just come across this post and am inspired.

    I have been with my boyfriend 7 years, we recently moved in together but the relationship doesnt seem to be moving in a positive direction as I would hope it would. I love him so much and he really is my childhood sweetheart, we have been together since 18. We broke up for a year 3 years ago, I probably should of travelled then, but didnt feel ready. Now we are back together (2.5 years) and I have got such itchy feet. The thing is I was so so upset when we broke up before, I am nervous it will happen again and I will miss him too much.

    When I mention travelling he gets very spiteful, and/or gets veery upset and says he would/might come with me if I just went for 3 months. I think I want to go for a whole year though. We have a flat which is only rented but all new furniture, so even the logistics are difficult, for me to be able to cut loose and go. Any advice well recieved.
    Thank you

  107. yuri says

    Sorry, but walk away from the love will always be a mistake. Places willl be there forever but true love may not. Age comes and we must start to think in people rather than ourselves.

    • Ayngelina says

      That is a really interesting perspective, did you read my follow-up piece 5 years later about walking toward love?


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