When we arrived with RY, we were encouraged to take the year to step out of our comfort zone, to say ‘YES’, to explore/adventure/experience.
Did I step out of my comfort zone? YES! I jumped off a bridge, said yes to a lot of things, drank and partied a lot, went on a ton of side trips, met wonderful new friends both local and in my group.
I’ve spent the past 6 months on-again-off-again trying to decide if this experience is fulfilling for me. Is it challenging me? Am I happy? Have I focused on my personal and work goals? Am I experiencing the local culture? Making connections with my fellow travelers? Am I truly experiencing the countries that I’m visiting?
The short answer is that NO, this experience is not making me happy.
So, I’m breaking up with Remote Year
It’s not you, It’s me!
The RY program is simply not fulfilling my personal and professional wants and needs. Please understand…it’s not the program, nor is it the people I’m traveling with. The RY program has provided everything that they promised (and sometimes more than they promised). I went into this knowing that the program was visiting places that I would likely not visit on my own. Cities, full of modern conveniences, five star restaurants, ballet and theater, etc. I’m just not a ‘big-city’ kinda gal. I was at my happiest in the small town of Lagunas, Peru with it’s dirt roads, spotty wi-fi, and gifts of fruit from the locals. Or in the small town of Chachapoyas where I watched the Semana Santa parades from my balcony.
Mexico City, Bogota, Medellin, Lima, Cordoba, and Buenos Aires . . . I’m sorry but I’m just not that ‘Into you’. I much prefer the likes of your little brother(s) of San Christobal De La Casas, Cartagena, Chachapoyas, and the Elqui Valley.
It’s said that there are 5 stages of a Break-up:
This is before you even think about breaking up. 1
For me, this was months 2-3. I was immersing myself into everything that RY was. I was blinded by love, following the crowd and ignoring that this wasn’t a good fit for me.
In this stage, the first signs appear that something isn’t quite right and not everything’s so great any more. 1
By the end of month 3, I started having doubts and thinking things like “this relationship isn’t for me,” or “there’s something off in my relationship,” and “this isn’t truly fulfilling my needs”.
By the third stage, you’ve reached the point where you’re certain you want to break-up, but don’t know how to go about it – we all know it’s never easy to instigate.
For many people, the preparation stage lasts for months because they’re umming and ahhing, can’t pluck up the courage to end it or just don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings. 1
For me the answer was to take a month away and re-focus myself. It worked for about 2-3 weeks. I quickly sunk back into the Contemplation Phase wondering “Is it you or is it me?” Can I do something different to make this relationship what I need?”
The fourth stage is where you actually take the plunge, have the chat and go your separate ways.1
Today is time for ACTION
I’m officially breaking up with RY at the end of the month. I have processed and analyzed all aspects and just feel that it’s not a good fit for me. It leaves me sad yet excited. I don’t fathom that we’ll be apart forever. I will stalk you like an old girlfriend, I’ll make drunk calls to you via whatsapp, and I’ll secretly show up in the places you are just so I can see you one more time.
The final stage of a break-up is that sad period where you’re giving back each other’s belongings, be they toothbrushes, DVDs or jumpers. 1
For me, the Maintenance period will be the next several months as I begin to separate myself from all that is RY. There are inevitably going to be good days and bad. There will be contemplation, reflection, and I’m sure a healthy dose of remorse. However, I know that there are some pieces and people from this experience that will follow me forever and stay a part of my life moving forward. I want to thank each and every one of you for your part in my journey.
I’m committing to see other people and experiencing places more suited to my personal happiness. Perhaps you’ll join me here or there for a day, a weekend or a week.
My current itinerary (based on pre-breakup plans) follow. If you happen to be in the area and want to get together . . . WhatsApp me!!