Travel as Self-Care


Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult experiences in life.  The emotional rollercoaster is quite simply, exhausting! And after the storm, when you’re now coming to terms with your new life and new title (divorcee, yikes) you also have to adjust to your new financial circumstances.

For me, this was one of the most difficult parts.  My ex and I divorced mainly because we were so broke it tore us apart.  I was stuck tens of thousands of dollars in debt, I had to file bankruptcy, I couldn’t pay my mortgage alone and could barely make ends meet because my daughter wasn’t old enough to be in school full-time for me to work steadily.  It was a nightmare.

I spent many nights crying myself to sleep, trying to figure out if I would ever be able to pay my bills and live a normal life.  I would dream of someday meeting a new partner and having this amazing new life. I would fantasize about the amazing trips I would take and magical places I would visit when I hit the lottery, because I would never have enough money of my own to afford travel.

It took a few years, but I got myself together, got my photography business off the ground and slowly but surely I began to feel normal again. And then I found myself in yet another very emotional situation; as a step mom.

I thought divorce was heart wrenching until I compared it to the coolness I received from my step sons who just couldn’t warm up to me.  I was now trying to blend my new little family; my daughter and my husbands two sons.  My work schedule often takes me away on weekends and I miss so much family time and trying to balance work and my kids, high conflict exes and a social life began to wear me out.  And the guilt!  I was consumed with it from every angle; missing my daughters concerts, to not being a good enough step mom, to leaving my husband to care for the kids as I worked,to missing girls nights out and never seeing my friends.

I had to change something, and fast. I was dying inside. I decided  to have a heart-to -heart conversation with my husband.  I truly missed traveling and having adventure. I was now making a good living and thankfully my work allowed me to travel quite a bit, but the problem was my husband didn’t have enough vacation time to join me (and who would watch the kids while I’m gone.)

I needed to do this.  My heart and soul craved it. My husband told me to do whatever makes me happy.  He gave me the freedom to be me guilt free.  What a gift!

Now each year my daughter and I take a small trip just the two of us. It’s a great way to connect to each other and have memories of our own. I cherish this time so much and she looks forward to planning our adventures. It warms my heart that she loves to travel and wants to see the world.  Every year, I also get to plan trips to wherever my heart desires. I try to visit somewhere new each year. My husband gets one week with me so we make sure to go somewhere special just the two of us.  For my other trips, my business partner joins me and we somehow find ways to blend business and pleasure as we tour places like Iceland, California and The Grand Canyon.

I am so fortunate my husband understands me and allows me to travel guilt-free.  Its a way to rejuvenate and recharge, and he gets that.  And if you really think about it, so often when we go through divorce and remarriage, we often lose ourselves, our identities become a ghost  we often don’t recognize.  For me, my travel brought me back to ME!  I’m in a place where I can love and care for my family as a happier and healthier momma and plan my next adventure wherever in the world it takes me.

 

Veronica L. Yankowski is a professional photographer in New Jersey specializing in portraits, events, boudoir and  fashion editorials.  She loves to travel. She is a wife to John, mom to Anastasia and step mom to two incredible boys, Jason and Michael.  Veronica is a blogger and often writes of her divorce and step parenting journey and dealing in high conflict relationships. She has 4 cats and a bunny and adores her furry family.
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