Without a doubt the most popular post on my site is The Year I Walked Away from Love. It was the first time I opened up and shared with people how difficult it was to end a relationship to travel.
I hadn’t planned to write about the break-up but I was getting so many emails from people asking where to find the courage. I wanted to share that I wasn’t unusually brave. I was just a regular girl getting over heartbreak, crying on buses in Mexico…well actually most of Latin America but it would have made for a pretty bleak travel blog.
I wrote that post four years ago
I still get emails each week asking for advice. All I can say is that if you’re reaching out to a someone you’ve never met to ask if you should end a relationship then you already know the answer.
And for everyone contemplating ending a relationship or still in pain from the end of one I wrote this post for you.
One year ago today I met Chef Rouge.
I was in Charlottetown and everyone told me I had to go try the charcuterie board with the olive oil lemon sorbet at his restaurant. I arrived late in the afternoon wearing a shirt that said Praise the Lard, he saw me through the pass and sent enough meat for 6 people.
Like I always do I asked to meet him. I thought he was genuine and sincere, he asked if I wanted to see Cooler B where he was curing the meat – uhh yeah! We connected but I thought nothing of it. I left him my business card and shared that he would be in the video below.
And he was so kind that when he emailed the next day asking if I wanted to go for a drink I thought he was just being nice. I didn’t realize it was a date until later that evening when he reached to hold my hand.
The next night we met again after service and had a great evening. He shared that he wasn’t from PEI and was actually planning to move to Toronto – what luck!
…except that I was leaving for a 2 month tour of Spain in 3 days!
So we texted, emailed, Skyped for 2 months and when I return home from Spain he flew to Toronto to see me.
I’d love to say after that it was easy. But life never is. And it wasn’t the long distance relationship for the two months before he moved to Toronto.
It was me
I’ve always been fiercely independent. Adamant that I would change for no one. Traveling solo for the last four years has been amazing but it also created a very selfish lifestyle. Someone had to take me or leave me. I’ve had relationships on the road, some more serious than others, but I always had the ability to pull the parachute if things got tough.
When the going got tough, I always left
Chef Rouge is undoubtedly one of the kindest, most considerate and supportive people I know. But it took time for me to realize that changing some bad habits I had wasn’t stifling my independence, but allowing for us to grow together. That being in a relationship means you need to consider how your actions makes the other person feel.
I was stubborn at first because I was always in fear of the end, what would he discover about me that would make him want to leave?
How was I going to screw things up?
But his affection and commitment was unwavering, even when I did screw up.
I stopped asking if he was going to leave
And finally I realized I deserved someone as amazing as him.
And it would be easy to proclaim that I’m sorry I wasted my time on other guys, that some were losers and I regret dating them. But I grew as a person with each relationship and now I’m able to see how lucky I was to have someone like Dave.
Now I’m ready
So I guess I wanted to write this to say don’t be afraid that you’ll be alone for the rest of your life. I’d love to say I knew I’d find someone new, someone better. But I didn’t know that. At times I wondered if I’d thought I’d be alone. Actually many times I thought that. What I didn’t realize was that I was that that the universe had bigger plans for me and I just needed to be patient.
I found love. And if you haven’t found it yet don’t be afraid. It will come when you least expect it.
2018: My story isn’t over yet. I just published The Year I Was on My Own Again.