Summer can provide a special opportunity to create new adventures in your life after divorce. If you have been looking forward to your vacation and have booked a cultural tour to a destination filled with special activities, it can be a time of great excitement. It may also be the first time you travel somewhere that offers the opportunity to learn and create brand new experiences in a different country.
In addition to sharing your accommodations with another, you may also not speak the language. While it may be exciting for the first day or two, if your trip is for an extended period of time such as one or two weeks, you may have a moment where you feel overwhelmed. Having a game plan and a simple framework can make all the difference in your journey. I encourage my clients to SMILE while they travel.
Takeaway Tip #1: Savor the experience. You may be dealing with a lot on your plate, but celebrate that you have taken the time to enrich your spirit and mind. Try not to have too many expectations, as each person’s experience will be unique. If you are on a tour, it is important to plan as much as you can in advance for any special needs, but once you are on the ground, try your best to remain flexible. Manage your expectations and trust your ability to communicate with your tour guide if you have any issues. Then you can relax and embrace the journey. Don’t forget to keep a journal of your experience!
Takeaway Tip #2: Manage the pace. Sometimes when booking a tour, the days can be hectic. Many days start with an early breakfast and end with a late night dinner. If you are in a different time zone, your body may still need time to adjust. If you have the itinerary in advance, remember that while you want to make sure that you get your money’s worth, if you are struggling to make it through the day, it is important to take care of yourself. Ask if you can sleep in and catch up with the group at a later time or plan to skip dinner so you can rest, regroup, and re-energize.
Takeaway Tip #3: Instant connections can happen if you stay open. Sometimes, when you are on a cultural tour, you may be paired with a complete stranger from a completely different culture from your own. If you are struggling with your ex even while you are traveling, do try to focus on the fun you are having and do not let any of your divorce drama creep into the conversations. This trip is an opportunity for people to get to know you without your baggage and vice versa. If you keep it light and fun, you may form a friendship that can span a continent and last a lifetime. Even if you leave the experience without a new connection, just putting yourself out there can help to boost your self-confidence.
Takeaway Tip #4: Learn a few key phrases in the language. In the time between booking your trip and actual travel to your destination, see if you can make your interactions even more special. Learning greetings and general introductions in the language of the culture will bring a smile on the faces of local residents. If you are not sure of your pronunciation, ask your tour guide or the hotel staff. Your brain will benefit from the stimulation and your conversations may expand your education of the locale.
Takeaway Tip #5: Everyday provides a new opportunity to grow. Divorce can shatter your sense of who you are, but it can also set you on a path of self-discovery. One of the “benefits” of divorce is the ability to move outside your comfort zone and perhaps even thrive in unfamiliar situations. Celebrate the fact that you have taken a big step to travel the world, experience another culture, and possibly make new connections in the process. While the knowledge that you have the capacity to do this should be reward on its own, the memories you will build for yourself are something to be treasured as well. Happy travels!
If you are contemplating divorce, or struggling with a high-conflict divorce procedure, let Tamara Harris, CEO of Tamara Harris LLC, be your partner as you navigate through each stage of your journey. As an impartial, experienced professional, Tamara will work directly with you to give you the best tools and strategies to manage the specific challenges and uncertainties of divorce. Serving as your Divorce Coach and advocate, she will help you see clearly during this time where emotions can often impede and derail your divorce procedure. While each member of your high-conflict divorce team – lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, and other experts – will be advising you, Tamara will help you to synthesize this information, think strategically about the options you have with clarity and purpose, and get your divorce across the finish line. Visit tamaraharris.com for more information, or contact Tamara Harris to discuss becoming a client. All inquires will be held in confidence.