If you're looking to leave something -- or someone -- behind, travel is probably the best way to do it. Here are the best places to go after a bad break up. These destinations will help you recover and find your mojo again. They also might supply you with a bit of a rebound.
The largest city in South America, Sao Paulo is a snarl of all the reasons people move out of a city. With what is considered to be the worst traffic congestion in the world, it dwarfs New York City and the stand-still nature of its streets. But with a broken heart, feeling like a spec in a sea of specs may be just the escape you need.
The three major complaints you're likely to hear from Sao Paulo residents include traffic, smog and street violence, but you'll notice that with a population of nearly 20 million, no one seems too keen to move out. The up-side of visiting a city where people are literally stacked on top of each other amid a dizzying array of soaring skyscrapers is that each one brings their own unique culture to the city and its visitors; and culture is one thing Sao Paulo doesn't lack. Browse bohemian art in graffiti-covered Vila Madalena, take your pick of gourmet cuisine in the Jardins district, or samba through the night in Vila Olímpia.
In the end, you'll be reminded of just how small we really are, and in the grand scheme of things, that person may not have been so important.
What better way to move on from your past than to go make some really bad decisions in the company of thousands of others who are making really bad decisions?
Ibiza is the party capital of the world, where sleep is reserved only for the weak and dancing for anyone who believes they look good doing it. It's here where the term "rave" first spewed out of intoxicated, foam-covered adolescent's mouths, and today the club scene is of epic proportion. International DJs play sets that don't start until midnight, and don't end until noon. And after, a sea of hangover-nursers crowd the island's beaches, lined with mega-resorts inland and turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea.
Stay up too late, wear too little sunscreen, and don't think a single action through.
Not to get all Eat, Pray, Love, but sometimes the best way to forget about your troubles is to partake in some old-fashioned overeating--for clogged arteries only help limit the amount of feeling in your heart.
New Orleans is the epitome of Cajun culture, and this Louisiana charmer leaves no doubt as to why the U.S. consistently ranks among the fattest countries in the world. The Big Easy is just that, big -- big entertainment, big allure and big proportions. Find a front porch, a balcony, or a rocking chair and enjoy some Creole goodness, backed with the near-constant smooth beat of the city's famous music scene, whether it be jazz, blues or rock n' roll. Start with beignets, the official state doughnut of Louisiana since 1986 (yes, the state has an official donut), greet midday with po'boys, fried crawfish, or jambalaya, and tuck in for the night with gumbo, étouffée, and red beans and rice. Wash it all down with anything that comes in a Mason jar.
In the end, your only regret will be a few extra pounds, but you will have found a way to ditch the baggage you formerly bore.
Misery loves company, and there's no better place to chill with the emotionally unstable than the birthplace of country music. Drown your sorrows in other people's woes, from beloved hounds to two-timing ex-wives to characters in crowded county jails. Just one whiskey-filled night with these crooners and you'll be singing a different tune on your own troubles.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em--the best place to start in Nashville is where the dreamy-eyed songbirds flock with a beat-up guitar and a lifetime of heartbreak to tell. The District is a stretch of street where the only thing that outnumbers pickup trucks is honky-tonks. Belly on up and keep the rounds coming; patrons will be hard-pressed to differentiate between the sound of your sniffles and that of the opening act.
If you're still in phase one, the sweatpants phase, it's time to get a little perspective. The best way to snap out of a funk is to give back -- head to Mexico, not for the white-sand beaches or umbrella-topped margaritas, but to participate in some volunteerism. Once you see just how good of a hand you were dealt, defriending your ex on Facebook will suddenly seem exactly what it is, frivolous.
No matter what your skill level or athletic ability, there is an area for everyone to help out--teach English in rural schools, dig wells in water-deprived communities, care for children with special needs in orphanages, or help save sea turtles on the Pacific coast.
It's easy to be blinded by your own pain, but there's a lot to be had from a friendly glass-half-full reminder.
Perhaps the best way to get over a past love is to fall in love all over again. Wake in the morning to the rhythms of the rainforest--shower with howler monkeys, hike with sloths, and share your lunch with scarlet macaws. By the time you leave, you will have named and loved each and every one of them.
The seclusion will allow you time to reflect, plus high up in the jungle you're much more likely to be bothered by the outdoorsy-folk than loved-up honeymooners who flock to the beaches below. Drag your broken heart out of a canopy-covered bed and stay active in the great outdoors--zip line through dense jungle cover, jump off waterfalls, or 4x4 over rugged, unpaved roads. And eat, drink, and be merry--because, let's face it, the faces you saw on this trip are a lot more intriguing than what you think you're missing out on.
-- Lacy Morris, Associate Editor, Away.com
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