Seeing the World After a Divorce

After my divorce in 2018, I found myself yearning for new experiences and eager to embark on adventures beyond the familiar. One of my big goals was to begin traveling. Outside of camping and the occasional work trip, I had done very little traveling. Over the course of my 20-year marriage, the only places I had been outside of the continental U.S. were Canada and my honeymoon in Fiji! 

I decided to try to do at least one big international trip each year along with lots of little weekend excursions. I now visited Hawaii, Turks and Caicos, Costa Rica, Europe (Paris, Germany, and Luxembourg), and Belize.  As I ventured into the world of travel post-divorce, I discovered invaluable tips that helped me navigate this new chapter with confidence.

  • Set Clear Goals and Establish a Budget: Like any significant endeavor, my travel aspirations began with a clear vision and a realistic budget. Assess your financial situation and determine how much you can comfortably allocate towards travel expenses. For me, setting aside $6,000 annually provided a tangible target to work towards.
  • Automate Savings: To stay on track with my travel goals, I automated monthly transfers from my checking account to a designated travel fund. This disciplined approach ensured that I consistently contributed towards my adventures without having to actively remember to do so.
  • Travel Credit Cards: Many travel credit cards offer a variety of benefits like companion passes and points. I was able to get free flights to Hawaii for my boys and me in 2019, and my boys, my mom, and me to Costa Rica for Christmas in 2021.  It’s crucial to research credit cards thoroughly to determine which one best suits your needs, as benefits and costs vary widely. Websites like Bankrate.com and thepointsguy.com offer valuable resources for comparing cards and making informed decisions.

Once the financial groundwork was laid, I began researching destinations. I made a list of places I had always dreamed of visiting and started researching the best times to go, the must-see attractions, and estimated costs. Having a clear idea of where I wanted to go helped me stay focused on my goal and motivated me to stick to my budget.

  • Start Small, Dream Big: While dreaming of far-flung destinations, don’t overlook the beauty of nearby attractions. Begin with weekend getaways or short domestic trips to build your confidence as a solo traveler. These smaller excursions serve as stepping stones towards more ambitious international adventures.
  • Embrace Solo Exploration: Traveling solo offers unparalleled freedom and opportunities for self-reflection. Embrace the solitude and use it as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself. Engage in activities that bring you joy, whether strolling through a vibrant market, hiking scenic trails, or savoring a meal at a cozy cafe.
  • Stay Open-Minded and Flexible: One of the joys of travel is the unexpected encounters and serendipitous moments along the way. Embrace spontaneity and remain flexible in your plans. Some of the most memorable experiences often arise from veering off the beaten path.
  • Check out apps: With apps like Tripit and Been you can create travel reservations and organize other trip details. You can also use apps to record the places where you’ve traveled. I’m up to 8 countries and 4% of the world. Still pretty small but much better than six years ago!
  • Stay Safe, But Don’t Be Afraid: Safety is paramount when traveling solo, but don’t let fear hold you back from exploring the world. Take sensible precautions like researching safe areas, avoiding risky situations, and staying vigilant, but remember that most people you encounter are kind-hearted and eager to help.

I had gotten a passport for my honeymoon in Fiji, then didn’t travel internationally again (other than Canada) during my marriage.  When I got divorced, I had to send in both my marriage certificate (showing my name change) and my divorce papers, to renew it.

Reflecting on my travels since my divorce in 2018, I’m filled with anticipation for the upcoming milestones on my journey. Among them, I’m eagerly looking forward to attending my son’s wedding in Paris this fall!  Through planning and setting clear goals, I’ve discovered that travel is not only achievable but also immensely rewarding.

For more travel tips check out my recent blog on how to plan your perfect summer getaway: