Trauma Travel

Four Seasons Papagayo

Trauma travel (Verb): The act of taking a trip to a foreign country and/or a super awesome locale to lick your wounds after life delivers a major bitch slap. 

I wish I could say that I am the great pioneer of trauma travel but I’m pretty sure Elizabeth Gilbert beat me to it.  Her little novel called Eat, Pray, Love (you may have heard of it? I’ve only read it a million times) found its way to the New York Times best seller list and became a blockbuster hit.  So while I am not the founder of this awesome method of healing I sure am working on perfecting it.

When the universe decided to make me its human punching bag last week by delivering an epic failure for my first round of IVF my husband and I decided we are way overdue for some R&R. After pulling the plug on stimulation day 10 after only 3 out of my 12 follicles woke up from their snoozefest I thought I’d indulge my non-pregnant self with things that I would not be able to otherwise do if I were with child.

They include: ziplining, massages whilst laying on my stomach, surfing, drinking adult beverages out of coconuts and hanging out near an active volcano. They will all be accomplished by the end of this month in Costa Rica!

For me, nothing cures the life shat upon me feeling quite like my passport and a plane ticket to anywhere but here. At this point it is safe to say I am an expert trauma traveler.  In the last 15 years if I have needed to clear my head and readjust my sails I’ve hopped on a plane.

Out of the 35 countries I’ve visited a handful have been to lick my wounds. When I went through major breakups in my 20’s Norway, Germany, Italy, Thailand and the Philippines were all there to give me the warm hug and kick in the ass I needed.

When I was laid off from the advertising world when the recession hit I dashed off to Norway and England to plot and plan my next career move.

When I lost my son Blake I got on a plane to New York City a month and a half later (which did prove to be a bad idea when I uncontrollably sobbed for hours in Central Park) So I headed to Seattle a few months later and the trip breathed a bit of life back in to me.

In January my husband and I explored Colombia a few months after I miscarried at 9 weeks.

I’ve learned that life happens in between positive pregnancy tests. When we are “trying” I feel as if I am holding my breath underwater and when we aren’t I’m allowed to come up to the surface to breath again.   I have learned and continue to relearn to find the happy in the “in between”. I try to avoid the “if I get pregnant then I will be happy” mentality because my in between  is that infinity pool overlooking the ocean in the photo above. I’m going to soak up all life has to offer in the in between.

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6 thoughts on “Trauma Travel

  1. Yes! I would love to do more trauma traveling. What an awesome attitude to have. A couple of months after our early miscarriage, my husband and I took a weekend away, and I really felt even just that little bit of time helped us reconnect and feel closer after dealing with our grief in different ways.

  2. Can I come too?? Actually I am thinking of hitting Washington d.c if I’m not pregnant by the end of the month. You know, if the government is open again… But yes, trauma travel is amazing 🙂

  3. How apropos ! I appreciate your will to live in those “in between” moments – it is so very hard to do, but so very important. I just found you blog the other day but will be checking back. I recently experienced my fourth early loss – and now going on two years trying to start a family. I only now found this small community of RPL women online — and I can’t tell you how helpful it is to know I’m not alone… I’ve written a little bit about my experience on my farm-to-fork blog, girlmeetsdirt.com, but I really appreciate the honesty of your story. Thank you for continuing to share.

  4. Wow, so eloquently said. It’s true. Life happens between pregnancy tests. When we TTC we hold our breath and everything goes on hold. Sometimes you just have to go for it. Live life. I love that you assign a holiday destination to enable or encourage healing. I think there’s something so cathartic about that break. This time mine was a week on a beach in Mallorca. It did me a world of good. I hope your trip does too xx

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