I arrived in Prague on a Thursday morning as a young woman in a relationship. A difficult, mid to long distance, sometimes extremely tiring but most times wanted relationship. I have been with my girlfriend at the time, for nearly eight months, which compared to most lesbian relationships meant we were basically about to get married. The first 7 months of our relationship we were both at university, spending most days together and at the end of this year she graduated. We were most definitely living in our own little “bubble”. Long story short, the distance got to us. What was already weak because of our own personal issues (she’s been grieving an immediate family member and I have had mental health issues), became weaker and we started arguing, trust issues became a big thing and the relationship, instead of being something that made our lives more beautiful, was draining.
So like I said, I arrived in the capital of the Czech Republic on Thursday morning, in a relationship, slightly anxious after last night’s argument – about something extremely irrelevant now. She asked for space to think about things and on Thursday afternoon, as I was admiring the beautiful collection of paintings in the gothic St. Nicholas Cathedral, she dropped the bomb. I deleted the message she sent me but it basically said that she wasn’t happy anymore and that she thought it would not be fair towards me to “keep trying” if she wasn’t one hundred percent into the relationship.
At first, I thought I could change her mind the way I have in the past. I enjoyed the cathedral and only cried a little bit into my trdelnik, which by the way, is this sweet pastry made from dough they roll and grill. You see all these tourists with a trdelnik filled with cream or ice cream and strawberries and you will be so tempted to try it, but honestly, don’t. It is so sickly. I had two bites of my sisters and could not have anymore (it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m vegan!). Instead, go for a cinnamon sugar or almond one. If you pick one without the cream or ice cream, in most places you will get a freshly made, warm one, which is literally heaven on earth. My wise mother said that it’s probably because cream in a warm trdelnik will curdle and nobody has time for that!
Back to the story, I got back to the flat we were staying at and got straight into bed. I spent hours trying to convince her that her decision was wrong, but she wasn’t moved by my words and tears. I spent many hours crying and talking to my friends that night. I probably didn’t get to sleep until 6 o’clock in the morning. I had no idea how I was going to survive the next day in Prague when all I wanted to do was stay in bed and cry. My heart felt like it was broken in million pieces, like it was grinded, spat on and thrown around Prague.
The first and most meaningful stop on that day was the Lobkowicz Palace. An old, baroque palace with a lot of really cool art pieces in it. I kept asking myself if there was anything I could have done and whether it was our last argument that really pushed her to end things. I was angry because all my friends thought it was time – why didn’t they want me to be happy?! One thing that I will probably always remember, was the collection of watercolor paintings of nature and birds, but these birds were made by attaching real feathers to the painting. I had never seen anything like this. I loved it and I thought it was crazy. Apparently, the museum had a massive problem with the preservation of these feathers because of pests and other gross things. I thought it was incredible how far some people will go to hang onto to things that are long dead, like feathers or relationships. I realized that the relationship was the reason why I’ve been feeling so drained and that my friends wanted me to be genuinely happy, not dependent on my ex. So I wandered around the palace, half paying attention and listening to the audio guide, half figuring out how to move on. I decided to start putting more effort into writing my poetry book, which I have been working on for months. I decided to take care of my body, mind, and my future, instead of focusing on what should have ended a while ago. The truth is that both of us could have been happier in that relationship. I would not have come to that conclusion if I didn’t get out of bed and stopped acting like a victim. Exercise, even in the form of walking while traveling, helps you think with so much more clarity.
A few weeks later, I feel so much better than before. I don’t think I would have had such a smooth break up without traveling. Traveling anywhere or just getting out of your comfort zone is a stimulating and thought-provoking experience. It’s quite simple really, you are in a new place and it makes you stop thinking about how upset or hurt you are feeling.
Whilst walking through the streets of the Old Town, admiring the architecture, looking for tourist attractions and just absorbing Prague like a sponge, I decided to take control of the break-up. I came clean to my ex about a few things which ended with her blocking me on all social media and I honestly felt so free. Of course, the good memories do haunt me every few nights and thinking about her with someone else hurts, but I remember how I felt towards the end of the relationship and all of the bad things that have happened between us. People change and people can hurt us but the world can’t. The city of Prague was beautiful before my birth, during all of my relationships, it will remain to be beautiful long after my death. I kept thinking that one sentence and took more photographs, focused on my art – writing and poetry. The things I create can’t hurt me.
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