A year after my dad died, I still carried a lot of baggage and couldn’t see beyond my broken heart. I was an emotional wreck and only functioned on autopilot. Knowing that I would damage myself further if I continue doing what I was doing, I quit my full-time corporate job and put my career on hold to focus on healing.
I wanted a fix because I need to go back to the life I was building and thought that traveling would be my way out of this rabbit hole. I just need to get closure, answers to my questions and these emotional wounds will be gone before I knew it. By the time I get back, I will be reenergized and full of enthusiasm again.
But I was wrong, I didn’t find the cure to the pain by going to a new place, I wasn’t able to ponder on closure during that 6-hour bus ride and I didn’t discover myself when I was sitting idly in the airport for my delayed flight.
I was naive thinking that traveling would heal me, that it would bring back who I was before: full of positivism and ready to accomplish my goals. I will always feel the pain and loss because it is a part of me now and what I need to continue learning is how to be not consumed by it. I don’t need closure but instead, I came to accept that there are things beyond my control. There will always be unanswered questions but I should stop chasing what I think are the answers and let it come when it comes.
Seeing the amazing sunsets taught me that endings don’t need to be a bad thing, watching sunrises enabled me to see hope in different packages, observing a sea turtle made me realize that I can come up for air whenever I need it, listening to the waves allowed me to hear the rhythms of my breaths, diving required me to stop lingering on the surface and go deeper, the long bus rides told me that I need to be more patient, an old tree showed me that to stand tall I must build deep roots and waiting for my delayed flight compelled me to not get angry easily.
Traveling is a lot of other things but it isn’t the cure for my broken but still functioning heart.