There are over 2.4 million weddings held in every year in the United States. Many of these ceremonies are beautiful and result in magical, happy, and long-lasting marriages. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, as researchers have found that roughly 50% of marriages end in divorce.
Divorce is a very real and difficult part of life. It can feel like your entire world is crumbling around you, no matter how long you've been married. It's important to note that though the pain may seem unbearable for a while, it will get better. There are things you can do to begin healing day by day until you finally start feeling like yourself again.
People often schedule a nice massage after a divorce to help relieve some of that draining mental and physical stress. Massages typically only last between 15 and 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage, they only provide temporary relief. So how can someone who just experienced the end of a serious relationship do something to truly improve their wellbeing? How about a new popular trend that's being referred to as "start-anew-mooning."
You've heard of honeymooning and babymooning, which are scheduled vacations in order to celebrate something wonderful happening: a new marriage or the birth of a baby. But why can't divorcees celebrate starting fresh? Nearly four out of five domestic trips -- about 79% -- are for leisure purposes, and an overwhelming majority of international flights are for celebrations like honeymoons and other happy events. Now, people of all ages can certainly travel all over the world in order to help get over their recent divorce.
According to Travel Weekly, travel agents have noticed a major uptick in the number of post-divorce trips they are helping their clients plan for. Why? Because these trips are great for getting over an emotional breakup and, like the name suggests, starting anew.
"When we begin the process to help a customer book a trip, we always ask if they are celebrating a special occasion," says Christina Pedroni, Senior Vice President of Liberty Travel. "Lately, we have been hearing more and more people tell us the reason for the trip is to mark the finalization of a divorce."
Additionally, the Loop reports that start-anew-moons are especially popular among 40- to 50-year-old women, who either go on solo trips for self-discovery purposes or group getaways with their friends to help take their mind off the recent breakup.
Though women are the primary divorce travelers, there are plenty of recently-divorced, middle-aged men who are looking to cope with their breakup through travel.
"Trips are often the ideal dose of momentum that people need to deal with life challenges and changes," said Leigh Weinraub, M.A., well-being specialist at Miraval Spa in Arizona.
Travelers know that a change of environment can help clear their minds, rejuvenate their spirits, and, for the newly single, put some much-needed physical space between them and their former spouse.
"I went through a bad divorce with a lot of heartache," said Lucie Muns, who decided to go on a surfing adventure in Costa Rica after her breakup. "Her advice: "Disconnect from the immediate place of heartache, whether you go five or 3,000 miles away."
Though the idea of traveling in the days and weeks immediately following a divorce might seem strange, it's much better than just sitting at home, sulking, and watching sad movies. But going on an adventure in an unfamiliar place can really put your problems in perspective and help speed up your recovery process. Here are some of the greatest locations for newly-divorced individuals:
- Costa Rica -- Spending some alone time with the beautiful Costa Rican views can truly be life-changing. Additionally, if you're traveling with a few friends, spending time in the rainforests, jungles, volcanoes, and beaches will be terrific.
- New York City -- Even if you've been to NYC multiple times, going there by yourself with the only goal of therapeutic travel in mind can really benefit you. There are so many things to do in this amazing city and, rather than simply watching Breakfast at Tiffany's, you can live it!
- Ireland -- Whether you just want to meet new people and have a friendly conversation or walk along the amazing countryside, Ireland is a wonderful place to find yourself.
- St. Barths -- Staying here isn't exactly cheap, but the breathtaking views and top-of-the-line luxury accommodations can certainly help you forget about what's their name. This Caribbean island is ripe with gourmet restaurants, shops, spas, and beautiful beaches.
- Thailand -- This is another great spot to rid yourself of any post-divorce anxieties that are lingering. There are hundreds of islands to check out or you can simply sit on the beach and reflect on all the positive things in life.
- France -- Although France is typically thought of as a romantic place to spend time with your significant other, it can still be great to visit by yourself to get over your former spouse. Try feeling stressed after a relaxing Burgundy riverboat tour.
Keep in mind, you're not going on these trips to sit around and feel sorry for yourself -- that was the old way of handling major breakups. You're going on these trips because you deserve it.
"It's not necessarily like a mourning kind of vacation," added Diane Frisch, a travel agent in Texas who as also noticed an uptick in post-divorce excursions. "It's like, 'OK, I'm starting this new chapter, and I'm going to do what I want to do.'"