To the guy who cheated on me during our travels: thanks
AFTER splitting with my boyfriend of a year, I headed off on a solo adventure hitchhiking across Canada.
But it wasn't long until the loneliness set in, and my misguided (or idealistic, depending on your point of view) heart told me that he was the one, and I had to get back.
I did the most romantic thing I have ever done: I hitchhiked 6000 kilometres in six short days to be with him.
We broke up four months later.
Shortly after our split, I met another man in Mexico. He was perfect… on paper. He was older, owned a boat and several properties, and treated me like a princess. It didn't hurt that he was incredibly handsome.
We spent a week and a half travelling through Mexico together, as if we'd known each other our entire lives.
Everything was perfect, until the day he left to fly back home to Canada.
A week after he left, it was decided: I would go see him that very month. So again I crossed thousands of kilometres for a man.
But it wasn't long until my wandering soul had to hit the road again, and I returned to Mexico.
We decided we would keep in touch and visit each other, finding a way to make the whole long distance thing work.
But it didn't. And like all good modern breakup stories I found out via two hearts posted on a Facebook wall.
His new girlfriend had scribbled them there, clear for everyone to see and I knew he has been playing me, dating another girl simultaneously. And he chose her.
I continued travelling, at that time two years into my now four-year adventure, but nothing felt right. I missed him, I cried, I felt alone.
I felt doomed to be alone forever, and it broke me down, beat me up, and inevitably led me to the worst bout of clinical depression of my life.
Slowly, yet surely, the depression lifted, as I began to feel like myself again.
I left home, ready to hit the road again, this time armed with two partners in crime - friends I had met along my travels. We were to spend two months together in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.
In this time a great shift occurred in my mind and in my heart. Everything I had dreamt of for so long had come true: I finally had people by my side to share my adventures.
Of course not everyone wants to be on the road permanently, and they eventually went home. Although I missed them, I felt comfortable being alone. Something had changed. What exactly made the switch in my brain, I will never know, but something was undoubtedly different.
No longer did I feel that I desperately needed a partner in crime. I didn't crave a man, nor latch on to the first halfway decent guy I met. I felt independent and comfortable in my own skin.
My life became fulfilling alone, without anyone by my side. I started meeting more people and chatting up the first person I saw; I was ecstatic at every new connection, eager to learn more about others and share my stories with them.
I realised no man is deserving of me who does not want to cross the world for me like I had for love.
More importantly, to be happy, all I needed was myself.
All thanks to betrayal.