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Taking That First Trip After Your Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult and painful experience for both you and your soon-to-be former spouse.

Whether you resolved issues with divorce mediation, or went through a lengthy battle in court, it’s normal to find yourself feeling a wide range of confusing, conflicting emotions once your divorce is final. On one hand, your marriage is over and you are no longer with your former spouse. As anyone who has experienced a breakup of a long-term relationship can tell you, this can cause feelings of hurt, anger, sadness or possibly even guilt. You may feel lonely and vulnerable in the aftermath of your divorce, and it is perfectly natural if you do.

On the other hand, perhaps your recent divorce has left you feeling happy, strong and ready to celebrate your newfound freedom. This is especially true if your relationship was abusive or dysfunctional in any way, or if your marriage was the main source of any emotional stress or turmoil in your life- if this is the case, having your marriage finally come to a close may be a very positive event in your life. You may be feeling ready to learn new skills, find new hobbies, and possibly even begin dating again. This is all normal as well; every divorce, like every marriage, is different. Every emotion you are feeling, both positive and negative, is completely valid at this time in your life.

Whether you are mourning the end of your marriage or feeling enthusiastic about the next chapter and what lies ahead, taking a trip after finalizing your divorce may be just what you need to bring much-needed closure and prepare you for a new beginning. Much like the way a marriage starts with a honeymoon, a post-divorce vacation can be seen as a “solo-moon,” a way to reconnect with your feelings and manage the stress you have been under in recent months.

If you are coping with feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety or depression, you may find comfort in a quiet, reflective trip that channels your focus inward to yourself and your needs. Some good travel choices may include an outdoor camping or hiking adventure, a sun-filled vacation at a peaceful beach, or a yoga retreat in a secluded ashram. Recently-divorced people who wish to clear their minds and restore their inner peace may opt to go alone or with a companion, such as a trusted friend or family member, to provide support and motivation for experiencing and enjoying new things.

Then again, maybe you’re in more of a celebratory mood and want to commemorate your newly-divorced status with a fun-filled Caribbean cruise, a beach vacation in Mexico, or a wild girls’ weekend in Vegas. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to welcome yourself back to single life in a big way! We each process life-changing events in our own ways, and if you’re in the mood to grab a couple of pals and hit the road, or take a solo trip to a destination you have always wanted to visit, you should take the opportunity and go where your heart tells you.

On your first post-divorce trip, you may find yourself experiencing conflicting emotions at different times, and that’s completely natural. For example, a person who first felt depressed and miserable in the wake of a divorce may discover one morning that he or she feels excitement or even joy about the day ahead. On the other hand, an in the midst of celebrating the end of your marriage with a nonstop party weekend, you may suddenly find yourself taking a quiet, reflective moment to feel pain, sadness or grief. Neither of these reactions is wrong or strange in any way: we all recover from traumatic events in different ways, at different speeds. There is no one way to feel or act at any given moment in time- by allowing yourself to feel what you need to feel when you need to feel it, your healing process will go more quickly.

One way to get through the divorce process quickly, simply, and relatively painlessly is to choose divorce mediation over traditional courtroom litigation. Divorce mediation can give you an outcome that is just as satisfactory and equitable as a traditional courtroom divorce, with a lot less time, drama, and cost. Choosing divorce mediation may be a good way to get your marriage dissolved as simply and quickly as possible so you can get to the point where you are ready to travel as a solo act. Whenever you are ready to take that first trip following your divorce, you will be able to begin the next leg of your journey, and hopefully find lasting happiness and peace.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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