Posted on April 11, 2015
Traveling long-term or living abroad brings many happy and exciting moments, and because it’s a part of life (not just a three months adventure), it brings some sad and lonely moments too. It can get really difficult when something bad happens while traveling, because suddenly you can feel much more lonely and sad because you’re not in your comfort zone. Many travelers or expats go through this once in a while and everyone has his own method how to overcome challenges and sadness. I would like to share my experience and I’m looking forward to your comments or experiences.
I’ve been living abroad for 8 years now and 2.5years of that time I moved between lot of different places. I’ve noticed that when I stay in one place for a longer time, my life gets pretty normal and it comes with its everyday challenges and disappointments. However, when I move from a place to place very often, I don’t have that much time and opportunity to get into e.g. a conflict situation or I don’t get to meet someone who can hurt me easily. That’s why traveling can sometimes be the easier way of living life and (not) dealing with responsibilities.
On the other hand, being somewhere far away, in a completely different continent, culture and surrounded by people who I’ve known for maximum one month can be a great lesson how to stand up for myself and survive. I generally trust people, but when I’m somewhere on my own, I have to first of all trust myself. Especially when I get into a situation when something unfortunate happens in my life and I’m far away from my family or long-term friends. Every situation is different, but these are my points how I try to deal with bad experience, hurt ego or sadness in my (travel) life.
1. Value yourself and appreciate the distance you’ve gone in your life and on your journey.
2. Things happen for a reason and especially when something bad happens on the road it’s a part of the learning experience. Be grateful for this experience.
3. Believe in good people. Some has hurt you? Or someone has stolen something from you? Or a nice travel buddy who you met and had a romantic relationship with has a new nice travel buddy? After the rain comes the sun, there are so many nice people in this world that a chance that you’re run into somebody great, helpful and sincere is huge.
4. Do what you love. Do you like music? Dance. Do you like ice-cream? Eat one. Do you want to talk to your mom? Call her.
5. Create something. This might be my thing, but the best blog posts or things that I’ve created in my life were an outcome of some difficult life situation. It has always moved me forward.
6. Talk to strangers. I believe that talking to a family member or a close friend back home is for sure helpful and it’s a basic thing to do. What I find fascinating is talking to strangers who I met randomly while traveling – especially when I have a bad day. When I listen carefully, I can discover lot of wisdom in their stories and it usually cheers me up.
7. Share your experience. As much as you need attention from somebody, let’s say a hug, someone else has for sure similar feelings. There is a certain magic of sharing and caring. It all comes back to you. The more you give, the more you get. I experienced sad and very difficult moments when I lived in Spain or in Denmark, as well as on every long trip I experience at least one person who hurts me. One of the things that keep me going is that I get lot of love back from this blog. It gives me some purpose and focus which is important when things don’t go my way.
8. Exercise and meditate. I’m very happy that I discovered surfing. The moment when I paddle out in the ocean, I focus on the activity and I don’t think about other stuff. It’s the best mediation. I have a very similar feeling when I do yoga. It’s very important to keep these habits while traveling. What is your happy activity?
9. Time heals everything. Especially when you’re traveling the time moves faster because there is always something to do. Don’t worry, be happy and go to see a beautiful national park or a waterfall that is close to you.
10. Focus on the good and move on. Remind yourself the purpose why you’re traveling and living abroad. You’ve come a long way so why should you get stuck and stay somewhere “in some unhappy moment”? I don’t want to encourage your to run away from any situation, but try to focus on that what makes you happy. And do it! Move on! Look forward to your next destination ☺
I think that being sad is part of life and as much as I try to do everything to live a happy life, I can’t influence it all. I believe that it’s important to process every experience and learn from it. And when the time comes and it’s healed you’ll laugh about it and share a story from that particular destination. “That time in El Tunco…”What do you think? What is your experience?