When Beth Jones’s husband left her for his trainer, she packed a suitcase and headed from her home in Boston to New York City. Then she lit out for Paris. And London, Laguna Beach, and Venezuela.
Somewhere in between, Jones—coauthor of the new nonfiction book Three Wishes, which deals in part with her failed romance—found herself bouncing back. It’s a strategy that worked for Elizabeth Gilbert too, which she documented in the bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. “I think people mistake travel after a breakup with escaping from reality, when in fact it’s a way to create a new reality,” says Jones. “Post-breakup adventures are like a traveler’s tabula rasa. They don’t involve the former partner, so everything—every taste, image, encounter—seems fresh.”
There’s a destination to suit every step of romantic recovery. A locale far from home offers the safe cover of remoteness and anonymity, and Tasmania certainly fits the bill. It’s not only at the bottom of the world—and thousands of miles from your States-based ex—but it’s also about as remote as you can get these days. Go hiking around Cradle Mountain and biking through wild bushland, or just hang out with the locals in Hobart. The chances of running into a Tasmanian devil are better than running into your devil-like ex.
Another option? Drown your sorrows in a flurry of food. Our suggestion: head to New Orleans. Where else can you start your day with beignets and coffee, continue on to delicious po’boys, and finish it off with oysters and étouffée? And in between meals, you can feast on the fantastic music scene. Okay, it’s not a long-term solution, but that’s not what a rebound vacation is all about, anyway.
After you make it out of the bad behavior and grieving stages, the right trip becomes an opportunity to redefine yourself. A jaunt to nature’s open spaces or a sojourn doing volunteer work in underprivileged communities will leave you with a new outlook on life. (And don’t forget physical transformation: there’s nothing like some hot new abs to generate envy.)
So grab your passport. It’s time to send your heartbreak packing.