Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

Everyone has their unique ways of handling things, including going through grieving. Recently I realized, my special way of dealing with losing my late husband, was traveling. In fact, the more accurate way to say, was traveling alone.

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

Traveling alone was one of my coping mechanisms. You might think someone is crazy to take a trip right after a loved one dies, but if the journey is individual and spiritual, what better place than the open road to dive right in? Some of my deepest awakening moments of truth erupt in places that are not in my home. When I step outside of my comfort zone, it is just me and only me. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, but now I know, that’s one of the first steps in dealing with my grieving, to confront and face, and process.

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

My first solo trip started in March, 2017, less than two months after my late husband passed away. My destination was Hawaii. You can read all the troubles I had go through for this trip here and how I turned it around here. More awakening moments and all the influences after this trip here. This photo below, was the place I almost jumped into the ocean to escape my pain. I was with a tours group but kept distance with everyone. Later after this photo, I was just standing there and crying “We made it! Man, We made it!” That was the only time that I have ever thought about suicided. Despite all of the troubles, emotions, as the 3rd day in Hawaii, I felt a shift, an unlocking of some sort. For the first time since my man died I felt a twinge of freedom. It was good to know that I still have the ability to enjoy life, even when I was alone.

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

I realized that there was something to be appreciated about grief. It wasn’t just a sad place, but a strangely liberated place. In some ways it made me reckless, but only in that it erased all the little fears I’d always clung to about venturing out into the world. I went on a helicopter without any doors in Hawaii, that day was super windy and I felt many times that little chopper could just lost control and I die in the ocean. A tall couple from Australia sat behind me and the wife was crying the whole trip because of the fear. It turned out, I didn’t really care and I enjoyed it very much.

Life after loss the first time travel alone

My mindset was, the worst had happened; there was nothing left to be afraid of. In the most thrilling way possible, none of it mattered anymore. I have never experienced this wild freedom before. So I went to Paris by myself in July, 2017 and that was about half year after I lost my man. It was my first international solo trip, everything went very smooth. I still remember that afternoon I sat outside of a bistro right next to Louvre Museum. It was a beautiful day, I was sipping on my wine, tasting foie gras and people watching. Suddenly I felt the complete peace came to my mind. Surrounded by all the languages that I don’t understand, my heart felt the quietness that I have never felt before. All the talking and noises were faded and the only things I saw, was beautiful life unfolding right before my eyes. At that moment, I felt nothing but pure happiness! No sorrow, no anger, no confusing. My man was not even in my head. It was the first joyful moment that I experienced without him.

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

Then a road trip to Canada, flight to LA and Fl. And a whole month in China, after that was Houston, then London, Paris, Barcelona and NYC. There were more and more pure joyful memories I have created without thinking of my man. These finally became my own trips.

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

Grieving is a lonely road and an isolating experience. It’s lonely and quiet and it’s easy to sink into. But all the traveling have reminded myself that there is a whole world out there still waiting on me to discover. My pain, is so small. It is just a little drop of rain to the ocean.

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

You can read all the Life After Loss series here and Living with Cancer series here.

Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving

Photo credit: Grace Liang

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Grace
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9 thoughts on “Life After Loss || How Travel Alone Has Helped Me Through Grieving”

  1. As always, you are so inspirational. I too am learning to travel alone, although my situation is certainly not as tragic. But nonetheless, your words are encouraging!

  2. You are a true inspiration Grace! I am glad you were able to find some peace in traveling alone, all these pictures are beautiful and looks like you visited some really great places, keep your head up!

    ~xo Sheree
    poshclassymom.com

  3. This is so touching. I have literally cried while reading this post. Travelling can truly be a spiritual experience, especially travelling alone. Moreover, I think it can be a good way for us to explore ourselves. Losing someone close is always incredibly hurtful, but we need to find ways to cope with our grief, not just for our sake but for the sake of those who care for us. By living the most life for ourselves, we are actually paying tribute to the ones we loved. Our love ones are always with us, even if they are not materially present.

  4. I did the same thing – albeit a bit less travel – and I completely agree. It was hard but liberating and blissful.

  5. This was so inspirational! I began traveling alone recently but for completely different reasons. I couldn’t wait to share this with my mother the entire time I was reading. She lost her husband, my father many years ago. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. This was so inspirational! I began traveling alone recently but for completely different reasons. The strength and courage you showed is beyond words. I couldn’t wait to share this with my mother the entire time I was reading. She lost her husband, my father many years ago. Thank you so much for sharing!

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