Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Breaking Up, Moving On, and Leaving Chester

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In most cases, when a popular blogger ends a relationship, he or she can do so discreetly, perhaps without even mentioning it publicly.

I can’t do that here.  Dave has been a major presence on this blog for the past year and a half, as I met him in Hanoi, Vietnam; as I moved in with him in England a year ago; as I continued adventures with him through eight countries.  I can’t simply stop mentioning him on here.  It needs an explanation.

Dave and I have ended our relationship respectfully and amicably.

Why?

The simple answer is one that many people called long ago: we have vastly different lifestyles and want vastly different things.  I want to keep traveling the world and growing my brand.  He’s happy staying in Chester.

With being able to apply for a partner visa as early as this coming winter, the reality of it began to set in.  Once I had that visa, I would no longer have an excuse to travel all the time.  Dave would want me to stay behind more.  I would find myself growing resentful, something that would only increase over time.

Worst-case scenario?  I kept picturing myself divorced with kids and tied not only to the UK, but to Chester — forever.

I Couldn’t Fit In

I haven’t let on about it here, or much at all publicly, but it hasn’t been easy for me to assimilate to life in Chester.  I haven’t written about this because I’ve been embarrassed.  I take pride in being the kind of person who can adapt to any environment, and not being able to do that in a seemingly easy location frustrated me.

Chester is an absolutely beautiful town.  That’s the first thing that I always say whenever someone asks me about it.  I can see why so many people love living there.  But it’s the kind of small town where the only sushi place quickly went out of business because NOBODY ATE THERE.

I’m not a small town person — much less a small town England person.  And in England, there is a much different attitude in small towns in the north than you would get in London, for example.  It’s very insular, very limiting.

Let me be clear — I met some truly wonderful, kind people in Chester.  This is not a slam against anyone in Chester or elsewhere.  It’s just very difficult for me to relate to people who stay in the same town where they grew up without any desire to live anywhere else.

This is exactly what I longed to escape in Massachusetts.  As much as I loved living in dynamic, cultural Boston, I felt like living only 20 minutes away from home felt like cheating on my life goals — it wasn’t adventurous enough for me.

I thought I could do it.

I tried to genuinely enjoy living in Chester.

I failed.

I am well aware that I didn’t make as much of an effort as I could have.  I could have reached out to more people, gone to more Zumba classes.  I chose instead to work constantly, isolating myself.  That was a poor decision.

Still, it’s incredibly tough to live in a small town as a foreigner — particularly when your boyfriend’s friends are the friends he’s had for two decades, and when he is so firmly entrenched into the local community that you feel like a perpetual outsider.

Especially when it comes to being American.  Believe me, I am happy to be ribbed as the token American — if you take yourself too seriously, you’re best off avoiding Britain altogether — but when you hear nothing but negativity about your country and people of your nationality for months on end, it takes a serious toll.  That has always been one of the most hurtful things to me about living in Chester.

Everywhere I went, I tried to downplay my Americanness just to escape that negativity.  I attempted to dampen down my accent.  I swiftly traded my Americanisms for British slang.  I tried to be quieter, more demure, to take up less figurative space.

And I would try to get Dave to say something, ANYTHING, positive about America or Americans.  He would always say that he loved how I was “the anti-American” — NOT anti-American as in being against America, but as in not being an American stereotype.  Dave has been to America several times, and he still couldn’t find anything positive to say about his girlfriend’s country.

That hurt me deeply.  It still hurts me.

Sure, there are loads of American stereotypes: that Americans are fat, gun-toting, geographically-challenged imbeciles.  But there’s another stereotype: that all Brits can’t stand Americans.  Neither of these stereotypes are true.

My friends in London love Americans.  My friends in Scotland love EVERYBODY.

When I went back to New York this summer, I strutted happily down the streets of SoHo while chattering loudly into my phone, just like everyone else.  That simple action made me teary with happiness.  It had been so long since I had allowed myself that small freedom.

Family and Relationships

Dave lives a short walk away from his parents and brothers, and he has a huge extended family living in Chester as well.  I love that Dave loves his family and loves spending time with them.  You can tell that Dave’s parents raised him and his brothers right — they are the kindest, sweetest, most helpful, friendliest, most respectful guys.  And the whole family has always been so kind and welcoming to me from the very beginning.

I’ve always known that Dave’s friends meant a lot to him, too — but I didn’t realize just how much until one day a few months ago when he told me, “I don’t want to be the kind of guy who only sees his friends a few times a year.”

Dave has friends whom he only sees a few times a year.  They live in Leeds and London.  Two hours away.

That was the moment when I knew our relationship wouldn’t work out.

You are not a terrible person for wanting to break up with someone you love. You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It doesn’t mean you’re morally bankrupt or psychologically demented or a nymphomaniac. It means you wish to change the terms of one particular relationship. That’s all. Be brave enough to break your own heart.

Dear Sugar

I read this quote by Sugar a few months ago and while her advice brings me to tears on a regular basis, this one made me sob.  I had worried that I was each of these — that I was a ball of self-destruction, a sociopath devoid of empathy, a man-eater incapable of sustaining a relationship, because who in their right mind would want to leave someone like Dave?

If I couldn’t make it with the kindest man I had ever known, a man who was basically the world’s best boyfriend, WHO THE F*CK COULD I ACTUALLY MAKE IT WITH?!

Then I forgave myself.

How It Happened

TBU Porto was a breaking point that had been a long time coming.  Travel blogging events are always a huge adrenaline rush for me — I leave on a high of inspiration, spending time with lots of people who not only understand me, but who encourage me to push myself to achieve my dreams.

After Porto, the scales were finally tipped in the direction of ending my relationship for good.  I decided to wait and do the breakup in person once I returned to Chester three weeks later.

Two weeks later, on the Sunday after TBEX, Dave broke up with me by email.  I read the email while sitting on my hostel bed in Girona.

I let exactly two tears fall before letting myself sink into billowing relief.  Dave has since told me that he felt the same relief.

This breakup is good.  It needed to happen (as all our friends and family have been reminding me and Dave constantly, somewhat to my chagrin.  Really, you all knew we were so doomed and never said a thing?!).  But there’s still a lot of pain on all sides.  I know it will lessen with time.

Packing up my stuff was hard.

What’s Next?

I have decided to move to London — for the next few weeks, and possibly longer.

Yes, London!  I’ve always wanted to move somewhere hot and cheap where I could stay long-term without any visa issues, and London could not be a worse match for that criteria.

But being in London over the past few days has brought me so much happiness.  I’ve missed the glory of city life!  Going to museums on a whim!  Trying whatever ethnic food sounds good at the moment!  Taking public transportation!  By God, I love the tube!

Most importantly, I will be among friends as long as I live in London.  I have lots of friends here — including lots of travel blogger friends — and there are lots of travel and business-related events and gatherings.  It’s been a very lonely year in Chester, and being surrounded by friends is exactly what I need right now.

In London, I can be the person I want to be.  It’s my antidote to a year of trying to be someone else.

Can I afford to live in London?  Um, not if I continue at the rate that I am now.  Which means it’s time to CRANK UP THE BUSINESS TO ELEVEN.  That’s what I’ve been wanting to do, anyway, so it gives me a huge incentive.

In late October, I leave for three weeks in Africa.  (Surprise!  More on that later.)  Until then, I will be building a new life for myself in one of the world’s most exciting cities.

I hope you stick around for the ride.

Comments

119 Responses to “Breaking Up, Moving On, and Leaving Chester”
  1. Jay says:

    Wow Kate! I admire you for recognizing that change was needed – that is not always easy to do.

    Best wishes as you make your way to London and settle into single life once again!

  2. As another travel blogger nicely put it recently….

    ‘ Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life’

    You are one of the bravest and nicest people I know -I know this must be have been pretty tough for you to go through.

    I am glad you had the courage to make the decision and have emerged happier, enjoying your new lease of life in one of the world’s most exciting cities….you couldn’t be in a better place!

    London would be perfect, if it only wasn’t so damn expensive…. so here’s to making lots of money…and having lots of fun adventures next year.

    Big hug, enjoy the amazing food (Vietnamese..damnnnn) and look forward to catching you soon in London.

    Kash

  3. Steph says:

    Well I already told you my thoughts on the situation, but I think it’s so brave of you to put it all out here (and I also love that Sugar quote). Also I’m super incredibly jealous that you are living in London now- that’s MY dream. Enjoy this time.

  4. That must of been really hard to share but I’m glad you did. Many people who don’t desire to travel can’t understand the need, and you choosing to go against that social grain is difficult. But I’m happy you realized change was necessary and you aren’t fighting what you’re meant to be: a travel blogger! Happy days in London and I can’t wait to learn more about your African adventures!

  5. Everything happens for a reason and just imagine how much your life is going to change soon and looking back on this day a year from now. I can’t wait to see what this new chapter in your life has in store for you!

  6. Kate, I don’t even personally know you, but being a faithful reader of your blog for more than a year now, it’s always felt like you knew from the beginning you didn’t belong in Chester. I remember maybe one, two, maybe three posts on Chester and that was it. I remember that post about you visiting your sister in NYC this past summer and how you felt “yourself” again. There were little red flags all over your posts that you probably didn’t notice, but good for you for embracing this huge change in your life!

    “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” -C.S. Lewis

  7. Paris Wells says:

    A Brit here , I’ll admit it , we do have a desert dry sense of humour ….. But I’m a big fan of America

    After just coming back from Burning Man festival ( hughly recommended ) which blew my mind , I had totally forgotten how friendly everyone is over the pond , people making it their business to help us with directions , car issues etc. I’m also a fan of the scale of America everything is 10x the size of the UK from energy drinks to property !

    I’ve just tried for the American visa lottery the US puts on every year ( started this week ), but the UK been barred as we have filled our migrant quota for 5 years !!!

    I’m a west coast guy instead of east coast , but that’s a whole different argument !

    So good on ya for coming back to the UK , enjoy London , a perfect hub for Europe and the middle east!

  8. I’ll definitely stick around, boyfriend or not. I always say that things happen for a reason in life. I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in karma and destiny. That breakup happened for a reason, and something else along the future will bring you more happiness. You’ll find your way back on top of things soon, I have no doubt. 🙂

  9. Nigel Gray says:

    Very brave and commendable for airing your story so publically on your blog. I’m sure there are others who may not have the courage to follow their heart or their dreams. Life is full of chapters and you will start another one in London.

    My cancer and subsequent divorce prompted me to move to London and I haven’t regretted it one bit, and other blogs such as yours inspired me start doing the things I’d missed. I started climbing, something I’d always wanted to do but never got round to it, I started getting back into the mountains and travelling, including Vietnam last new year. I’m sure you’ll remember with fondness the good times with your boyfriend, but cast aside the guilt and look forward to the next chapter:)

    Looking forward to hearing more of your travels and I’ll keep an eye out in case I bump into you while you’re tucking into a vietnamese in Shoreditch!

  10. Emma Gray says:

    Such a brave post, Kate. Proud of you, and I know London is going to treat you well. And yes, us Scottish people love everyone! We can’t help it!

    Hope to see you soon lady 🙂

  11. I broke up with someone for exactly the same reason once. When i got the opportunity to start traveling the USA as a roadie (it was finally a way I could get paid to travel), the kid i was with suddenly realized he DID want the white-picket fence, house and 2.5 kids, and a wife he could come home every night to…and i was never going to be that person.

    He was awesome, and we still keep up with each other, but sometimes yes, you have to move on. No matter how much it hurts. You have to be happy with yourself if you ever want to be happy with anyone else.

    Besides, now you can have fun, and someday you will meet someone who has zero problem with you traveling, seeing family and friends once a year, and doing absolutely crazy things in public arond the world 😀

  12. Alex Pendleton says:

    I understand what you mean about the small-town attitude in England. I grew up close-by to Chester, so I know what it’s like there (very beautiful, but tooooo small and closed-minded for me!) and I also lived in a small town in Southern England for nine months with a boyfriend-I think two years ago now? I found it so difficult to make friends, which was so strange and horrible-I’d lived in a big city for university prior to this, with lots of friends, and here everyone had known each other for decades and weren’t too inclined to make me welcome. I felt such an outsider-and I’m British haha!

    But I hope you’re okay-good luck in London, you will have a fabulous time. Here’s to the big city life! 🙂 And after meeting a ton of great Americans with TEFL, here’s some American love from a Brit. 😉

    http://alexisingermany.blogspot.com

    xx

  13. Rachael says:

    Wow, Kate! I was just nodding my head along to this entire post. I had an eerily similar scenario happen to me just this summer. After almost four years with my Swedish boyfriend (during which we lived in the US, Australia and did the long distance thing), it took a very similar thing — my applying for a partner visa and moving to Sweden — to realize it just wasn’t going to work.

    Reading about your life in Chester was so on the mark to how I felt living in my boyfriend’s small home town in Sweden. I can adjust to just about any place in the world, I’ve lived in Europe, Asia and Australia, but I could adjust to living there. Being plopped into his life (especially didn’t help that my Swedish was nonexistent — and probably my lack of enthusiasm to learn more should have been a clue) just wasn’t working for me and I was miserable.

    I had started to lose myself. And we clearly wanted different things. While he tried to share my interest in travel, he was content being settled in his hometown. And though the break was friendly, he didn’t want it (no breakup email from him!) but from what I can tell I think he is actually doing much better now. Even though he didn’t see it, I could tell that our relationship was perhaps holding him back a bit too.

    Now I’m back in the States trying to figure out my next move, but I definitely feel a sense of freedom and relief, despite how hard it was to do it.

    So here’s to us, taking life into our own hands! Good luck on your journey, maybe we’ll cross paths some day. 🙂

  14. Adam says:

    Happy for you Kate and glad to hear you’ll be living in London. Can’t wait to see what you get up to next!

  15. I am sorry for the breakup, but if you truly believe in your heart it’s for the best then that is all that matters. Breakups always suck, even when they are for the best.

    I’ve been living in a small town in Northern NZ for the last 10months and i know what you mean about not feeling like you’ll ever be able to fit in. And the no sushi thing kills me! WHAT THE HECK!?

    I really look forward to hearing about life in London and hearing more about Africa!!! 🙂 Ever since I went back in May/June my heart has yearned to go back. I feel like I left a little part of my heart in Africa. I wont be able to get back until the middle of 2013, and I’m seriously counting the days.

  16. Jess says:

    So sorry to hear about the break up, but it sounds like it was needed (even if it’s tough at the same time). I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and you have grown up so much in so many different ways-I can tell this was the right decision. I am also a firm believer that if something is meant to be, it is meant to be-whether you and Dave stay friends or something else, it will all work out in the end. I love you writing, it’s so frank and down to earth. You have inspired me so much to live my life to my own standards, and not follow in the path of everyone else. And, so excited to hear about the upcoming adventures to Africa!!

  17. Julie says:

    Big love, Kate. You’ve got this.

  18. Really heartfelt and amazing post Kate, I know how hard it can be to write about these kind of things (I recently came out of a 8 year relationship) I think you are making the right decision and I commend you for having the courage to know what you wanted and end the relationship I think you will both be better off in the future.

  19. Beth Kaboth says:

    I love you and love this post for one reason (ok, many reasons, but in this case one in particular) – your honesty. Best wishes to you (and to Dave) as you move forward to life’s next great adventure.

  20. Candice says:

    Love your honesty, Kate. Twas a bold move to make!

  21. Sarah says:

    I’m sorry to read this Kate. Can’t believe we were talking about you and Dave just at TBU when you were probably coming to the horrible realisation that it was all over. It is a shame to see two nice people end a relationship, but like Kash said consider this the first day of the rest of your life.

  22. I’m so impressed that you were able to share this Kate. You are an inspiration in more ways than one. A broken heart can be an incredibly tough thing to deal with – let alone being concerned if you’ll find someone compatible – but it sounds like you’re really taking it in stride. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your heart!

  23. Major kudos to you for putting it all out there! I went through a similar situation about three years ago and ultimately decided to stay put in Seville. I didn’t trust my decision until actually getting back to Seville three months later and finally letting out a sigh of relief that I wasn’t home. I think that you’re something who does things with a lot of gumption, so everything will be great. And if it’s not, youll move on! Good luck!

  24. sandra says:

    I am so proud of you Kate. You have handling this like a true Kennedy. The better u know ur self the further u will go in life. you will have many more relationship journeys. one day that man will come to u and u will know it is right the minute u say hello. your young, beautiful, and one of the smartest people i know and most of all , your genuine people. be well and enjoy life.we only get one.

  25. Julian says:

    Good choice Kate. It was obvious to me from the beginning it wouldn’t work out. You are a cosmopolitan person, you like to travel. You should not give that up and try to adapt. I’m sure there are many great guys that share your passion to travel and wouldn’t want to tie you up to a small city. And cuter too 🙂 Also, the antiamericanism is just pathetic (i’m not American myself). Sometimes I think that people from small cities/countries are bashing America because of their inferiority complex. Anyhow, good luck with your life and I look forward to reading about many more adventures!

  26. Terrisa says:

    Sometimes, when I go to write a comment on a post that pricked me in so many ways, I realize, after reading all the comments before, how the same we really are, us humans ( and yet, so different, as your post implies).

    This post makes me burst with a feeling of connection to others who have the compulsion to travel. It makes me feel uneasy even sitting in this chair in the state I’ve lived in for 5 years. It makes me believe that even with my debt and lack of independent sources of income, I could find a way to make it if I ditched everything at the end of the winter and moved across the world to be inspired and write every day – LIVING my dreams as I work my way to them. It makes me really want to get to know you over a Magners on a crisp Fall afternoon at a London pub. It makes me feel inspired by the complexities and beautiful twists and turns of love in combination with life.

    It makes me excited for you and inspired for me.

    Thank you for your honesty and openness (this is the most direct, clear-intentioned post I’ve ever read by you about your personal life and I love it).

    I learn from you. Thanks for that.

    Here’s to that Magners one day and much success for you in London! (*insert cheersing beers emoticon *)

    Terrisa C.
    http://www.terrisalynncoobs.com

  27. Tricia Noyola says:

    Kate-
    Thank you for being so open and honest with your life. I am a faithful reader and supporter, and I love living vicariously through you. Our lives could not be more different, but I feel kinship with you. It’s so important to live the life you think you were meant to live- and whether or not that includes what others would consider conventional and good, eff it. You get one life and one shot to do what it is you feel you were meant to.

    Strangely enough, I remember going through some similar emotions in deciding to marry CJ. That must sound weird, but I do remember making a choice that many didn’t understand or didn’t feel was in my life plan. I have not regretted that choice and am so happy today to be, in some ways, a boring conventional wife.

    Live as you were destined to, and when you find a love that is lasting, that love will not require that you merely accommodate your life and dreams to fit into theirs. You will create a new life together.

  28. Valerie says:

    Aww Kate I’m so sorry!! I have always found that travel is the best way to fix a broken heart, so you won’t be feeling like this for long! And thanks for sharing this with all of us! Remember that you have a large group of readers that cares about what goes on in your life 🙂

  29. Heather says:

    Good for you Kate. A while back I broke up with my boyfriend of three years because I knew it wasn’t right and was not making me the person I wanted to be (and I was in Phoenix, an environment that, I like to say rather dramatically, was draining my soul). I moved away to the Pacific Northwest and rebooted everything. That quote to be strong enough to break your own heart couldn’t be more spot on. That’s the strength that hurts the most but will ultimately make you a richer, more complete person. Fast forward a little over a year from my break-up and I couldn’t be more happy and more…me. It only gets better. =)

  30. Imperator says:

    Kate, although it was the first time I met you, I don’t know, it was something in the air about you… something I felt, but I hoped was not true… as I pass through another painful breakup… Well, good luck, get adventurous and the time will help cure… And you are still invited to Bucharest (after or before Africa 🙂

  31. alison says:

    Breakups are never nice, but sounds like this was for the best and that it has given you a new lease of life and sense of freedom to do what you love to do.

  32. Kieu ~ GQ trippin says:

    Breaking up is hard to do… But it sounds like you are in a much better place for yourself. Thanks for sharing, I know it isn’t easy. Excited to read about your adventures in London. And… Africa?! Awesome!

  33. Natalie T. says:

    This is a brave post, Kate. I’m curious as to if this post was therapeutic for you. I’m glad you were both honest with yourselves.

  34. Kalyn says:

    You are so honest, I love it! I think its always incredibly brave when two people decide to end a relationship because they aren’t happy. I read this quote a while ago and it really puts things into perspective for me:

    People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.

    Let them go.

    And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person, it just means that their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.

  35. Hannah says:

    Good for you girl- you need to follow your dreams and don’t let anything hold you back, even when it’s hard.
    I agree with your experience with Americans- I’m Canadian and even I get sick of the way Americans can sometimes be treated. I actually wrote a bit of a rant about it if you want to check it out: http://eatsleepbreathetravel.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/travel-rant-judging-based-on-nationality-standing-up-for-my-fellow-north-americans/
    in the meantime stay strong and travel lots- you have lots of people here who will continue to follow and love you! <3

  36. Dani & Jess says:

    So sorry to hear this, Kate – a breakup is always an awful thing to go through, no matter how amicable it is. Jess can totally relate to the feeling of being the ‘outsider’ as an American, especially in a small town like Chester – it can be pretty depressing. Good luck with everything in London – such a great place to live in!

  37. Keira says:

    Kate i’m so proud of you for sharing this post, as difficult as it must be. Sending you lots of healing vibes xx

  38. James says:

    As hard as it can be to break up with someone, you have to be true to yourself and listen to that little voice in your heart. I wish I could give you some advice to make this time in your life less painful but there really aren’t any quick fixes. Surround yourself with friends and spend some time getting reacquainted with Kate. Just remember: you have a large following of people who, although you may have never met, care about you. Good luck in your new life!

  39. Priscilla says:

    Hi Kate,
    I have a confession to make to you. I was with some fellow Tweeters and they asked me about having met you in Paris and I told them it was a bit disappointing because I expected a larger than life gal, but instead I saw a gal who was speaking with a half-breed English accent, not any hint of Boston let alone the good old USA who was quiet. You were reserved and demure and when you left the evening I said to my friend Lisa that Dave must have been the reason. I felt guilty this whole time because I spoke about you behind your back, but how could an almost total stranger tell someone they are making a HUGE mistake when they are telling the world they are in love with this person? I am almost as relieved as you!!!
    You may settle down one day, but never settle the urge to travel and I hope you have the best of all worlds in the future. For now, keep following your travel heart until the right guy keeps your heart by supporting and nurturing your passions while you theirs. May you meet someone like my Mr. Weekend In Paris who has shown me the world – the world of a great marriage, the world of Motherhood, and the world of travel. You can have it all with the right person!
    Take care and get that wicked pissa accent back pronto!
    😉 Priscilla

  40. belle says:

    Kate I got your post through email this morning and had tears streaming from my eyes, I can completely relate to what you have been through and think you are so strong for blogging about it. As I’m about to embark on my RTW adventure, I think one thing isn’t well communicated to the travel community is dealing with relationships that come and go through your travels, every break up, no matter how good the outcome, is hard in it’s own way and will make you a stronger person, but it can be difficult when doing this without your normal support network around!

    I look forward to reading all about your travel adventures and seeing the Adventurous Kate brand flourish!

  41. Jessica Wray says:

    Kate, This had me tearing up on my bus ride this morning! My boyfriend is from Northern England, and though I haven’t been there, when I am surrounded by all his best friends I totally feel like a fish out of water. I’m uncomfortable sometimes because I know I don’t really fit in. I can imagine how you must feel in Chester, and congratulations for being brave enough for talking about it and taking the leap.

    This post was really amazing and I hope the best for you in your future moves! I’ll be reading along 🙂

  42. Sorry to hear about your break up. But I think everything happens for a reason and I really admire your strengths. Your future plans sound amazing and I look forward to reading all about it.

  43. Pamela says:

    Wow.. It must have been hard to do what you did and then write about it, but also freeing.

    Many people hear your voice through your beautiful blog and this is a great example to always be true to yourself! Keep it up and wishing you the best on the new page of your book.

    Pamela

  44. Ann says:

    I admire your honesty and willingness to share such a personal story. Break-ups are never fun. But best wishes for an exciting new chapter in the UK!

  45. Amanda says:

    That Sugar quote is amazing, and really speaks to me, too. Kudos to you for sharing this, Kate – I don’t think I’ll be doing the same on my blog (though, my ex was never really mentioned on my blog to begin with…). It’s great to hear you so excited for what comes next. Clearly this is the right move for you!

  46. Cat says:

    Kate – You continue to be such an inspiration to me in what it means to live life your way and in the best way you know how. Your grace, braveness, adventurous-ness, tenacity, honesty, real-ness and more superlatives are what make you such an amazing travel blogger. I’d say an amazing person too but I haven’t met you but I’ll assume it’s true in person too. 🙂

  47. Andrea says:

    I can so relate to this post… I broke up with my boyfriend of 14 years so I could grow my wings and be the person I couldn’t be WITH him any longer. It IS hard to break your own heart, but sometimes a necessary thing.
    Take care and give your heart some time to heal itself.

  48. Teri B says:

    I am proud of both of you

  49. Aw Kate, I’m sorry to hear about the breakup – probably more so because the way you talk about your situation and Dave sounds identical to me and Pat. Although I don’t think we’ll ever split, I won’t lie when I say it might have come close a few times when I was more than distraught with having to live in Australia and succumb to his lifestyle/friends/family/etc. That said, I’m lucky that after a few years, I don’t feel *as* out of place, and he is becoming more open about the prospect of more travel and hopping over to the States for a while. The big trip earlier this year was a huge turning point for us as a couple. He’s now working freelance in hopes that we can take more trips together and live overseas for short periods of time.

    But it’s still not easy. For people like us who always want to see new places, it might not ever be easy I’m afraid. I’m very happy for you and happy that you are able to handle a tough situation with such forward-thinking and grace. You’ve got the right mindset, and I’m sure you’ll come out of it kicking ass and taking names.

    Congrats on the future travels, too – they sound rad, and I’m jealous.

  50. Lauren says:

    Oh, you are brave. I’m an American that dated & lived with an English guy for 3 years – he was from a tiny village near Salisbury, and I identified with several of the things you mentioned, especially regarding stereotypes towards Americans and the eventual relief when you finally ended something that, in the end, just wasn’t right. I kept reminding myself that just because it was easy to be in the relationship didn’t mean that it was right, and just because breaking up was the right move, didn’t mean it was going to be easy.
    Best of luck to you in London – what a city! I don’t care what people say about London, I’ll always believe that it’s capable of magic.

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