How a Virgin Solo Trip to Bali Healed My Broken Heart

How a Virgin Solo Trip to Bali Healed My Broken Heart

Seeking refuge from heartbreak, feeling lost and broken. This girl shares her story about how a solo trip to Bali helped her regain her footing in life.

About two and half years ago I had just been let go from a five-year relationship and I was entirely to blame. I say let go because I wanted to continue fighting to make amends, but my partner had given up all hope of ever reconciling and said enough is enough. He was the love of my life, and till this day, I live with regret. I knew I’d never find that sort of comfort and security with anyone else, and for my own sanity, I had to find a way to deal with how lost and broken I felt.

solo travel for brokenhearted

As a child I was never impressed with Bali, I guess mainly due to the fact that when you travel with family, the activities you take up are safe and routine. That’s not to say as an adult returning to Bali meant that I would hit up Kuta and party till the break of dawn. In fact, going back to Bali on my own terms, I got to see the beauty that is Ubud and Seminyak, along with the enjoyment of speaking with the locals like long-lost pen pals. But up to that point, I’d only travelled with other people. As afraid and insecure as I was, along with the burden of heartache, I decided that I needed to go back to Bali alone.

I had no set itinerary, no schedules mapped out and no idea where each day would take me, but I knew that I had to be away from the familiar. And so I took four days out of my life to stay at The Canggu Boutique Villas & Spa. I had a private pool and the option to have breakfast served to my villa every morning, should I wish. I chose the location as it was away from cliché tourist spots, had 24-hour security and was situated in an area that’s known for cosy cafés. Its resident restaurant, The Butcher Social Habit, is also a pretty well-known place for great burgers and a chill evening hangout.

Also read: 5 Personal Experiences that Prove Travelling is Best Done Without a Plan

solo travel for brokenhearted

My only pre-planned activity was a bike trail, organised by Bali Bike Baik Tours, which took me through winding streets in the Balinese village areas and where the group got to make several stops to view local homes as well as expansive padi fields. I was the only one who was travelling alone in our group of 10 or so, but I didn’t feel out of place one bit. I struck up conversations with as many people as I felt comfortable with, and it didn’t take long before I sensed a brief moment of calmness from the emotional turmoil I was enduring. On that day, all I cared about was that I was away from everything, and that I wasn’t around anyone who knew me – no one knew my story and I enjoyed being a foreigner to everyone as they were to me.

The following days I decided to simply allow my morning mood dictate how the rest of my day would play out. One day I took a quick cab ride to Seminyak and spent the whole day walking around, shopping, getting a 2.5-hour massage and checking out health cafés, while catching up on my reading on my Kindle.

Another day, I felt so emotionally taxed that I mostly hung out by the pool and even squeezed in a quick workout. Most nights, I was back in the villa by 9pm latest, and was more than content watching TV with my minimart haul of nuts and beer in hand. When I was out and about, however, I made it a point to face my own fears and simply walked up to the staff and made small talk. I found myself feeling very vulnerable each time I did, but also very relieved and proud of myself once it was done. I guess I just needed to know that as much as I wasn’t the greatest girlfriend, I was still someone worth talking to and getting to know, even if only superficially.

solo travel for brokenhearted

The break-up had caused my confidence and self-love to suffer greatly, bringing along with it the weight of guilt. Although the trip wasn’t high-energy and very low-key, it was therapeutic in the sense that I could work through my thoughts and emotions without the interference of people’s opinions. The trip was as much a distraction from the stabbing pain in my chest as it was a way for me to find myself again.

It was only four days, but in those four days I made connections with complete strangers I wouldn’t have otherwise made if I travelled with a buddy. In those four days, there were moments of crying, smiling and even meditation. In those four days, I found the strength I needed to go home and pick myself up again. In those four days, the reality of the break-up sunk in and I knew there was nothing else that worry could fix. In those four days, an appetite to explore surfaced and I felt a little braver about venturing out on my own without the man I’ve been so sheltered by for the past five years. It’s funny how the absence of just one person in your life can make you see the world so differently.

Also read: Where Do Broken Hearts Go: 7 Philippine Destinations to Find Yourself Again

Fast forward to today, and I still have a hunger to re-visit Bali every time I feel the need for a break from the monotony and worries of life. There’s something about the place that gives me much peace and happiness, unlike any other destination I’ve visited before. Bali, for me, is more than a holiday choice; it’s where I sought refuge from heartbreak.

About Author

Siti Zawani
Siti Zawani

Preferring her friends to call her Wani, this crazy cat lady's writing has always spoken more for her than speech itself. Her emotional relationship with food, fitness, relationships and travel keeps her constantly wide-eyed and inspired, while Netflix-ing on a rainy day has proved to be the best way to recharge her batteries.

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