When I was in India, I met a couple on the road who quickly became my friends. Once, when we were in Jodhpur, she told me the story of her brother, who decided to travel for a whole year after he got his heart broken.
I already wrote in here that after a long journey, we choose to let go some of our past, if not all of it. This is why some therapists advise to travel to the desert during a week or two, with some professionals. This is why some people travel for three months and live like nomads to achieve the Way of St-James where it is asked to leave something precious behind at the end of our trip, near our goal.
My travel companion told me her brother, after he got his heart broken, decided to take his car as far as he could go. He ended up in Morocco, in a deserted place. During the night, a man offered him his help. But he told him to follow him to the nearest village. There, he started to walk very quickly, and my friend’s brother lost sight of him in the streets. When he arrived at the end of it, three men were waiting for him and assaulted him. But he made so much noise and fought with them they had to run away. He did eventually go back to his car, which was surrounded by a group of men ready to steal every part of it. So, he decided to leave it and find help, but an official one this time. After hours of walk, he found an NGO in a village and volunteered to join them. Six months passed like that, until he decided to go back to his car. And there, by miracle, it was still there, intact. He learned mechanical skills at his NGO and was able to start the engine which was damaged.
He took three months in another town, where he helped a hospital, before going back home.
I told her he was very wise to do so. Because he could have chosen to have a rebound relationship, like many people do. Rebound relationships can leave you with a bigger broken heart than before when they’re over. We’re not really ourselves during this period so these relationships are ill-fated.
He did something dangerous, though. But there are much safer ways to get over a broken heart. We can travel in safety. But I guess he also felt alive, a good remedy when you feel worthless and desperate because of our aching heart.