Backpacking a Broken Heart: An Idiot’s Guide to (Failed) Relationships

Remember what they say about how time heals everything? Well, sometimes it doesn’t. We thought it would, but that consuming feeling of bitterness — or, perhaps, regret — we have silently nurtured within, despite the outward appearances of “I’m okay” or “I just don’t care anymore”, burns a growing hole in us. Hearts are broken. Egos are shattered. By then, we know time needs a hand in healing what has been wounded — and fast.

We romanticize love — and for good reason. After all, love is nothing but a romantic attempt at explaining why we get attached to somebody — or, something, as the case may be. Wait, I don’t buy the idea of stripping love down to brass tacks as mere spikes of hormones in a person. I believe these surges of dopamine and whatnot are not the cause of love, but its manifestation.

I believe, however, that love is a choice. And, we value this choice so much that we are willing to see ourselves living the “choice” — and the failure of which causes a heartbreak. Having said this, it is only logical then that to mend a broken heart, one must make another choice.

To name a spade, a spade: that choice is to move on. The inevitable question then is: How? “Moving on” comes in many faces. Some choose to drown themselves in alcohol. Others eat their heartbreaks away. Still others choose to see things in a different perspective, leave the port of self-pity and destruction, and sail away. On account of some newfound sense of optimism, they call it freedomnot from the two-bit tramps that dumped them, but from their pitiful, ugly selves. They choose to pack their bags and wander about until reality catches up with them and tell them that there is more to life than heartbreaks, bitchy girlfriends and cheating boyfriends. They choose to backpack their heartbreaks.

Take that step.


Well, backpacking is really not that novel an idea. You may have heard of that guy who traveled the whole country with less than a thousand bucks in his wallet, or that girl who toured the world with nothing but her backpack (and laptop… and camera… and cash… and credit card). But, backpacking can really be a rewarding experience when done right. By “right”, I don’t mean without any mishap. Things can go out of control. Perhaps, this should be your first lesson on moving on. Dude, shit happens. Accept it. By “right”, I mean preparing well enough to anticipate any unwanted event that may take your mind off from enjoying the moment. Plan ahead. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Commit to do something about it.


Look at yourself. Do you like what you see? In any endeavor you choose to engage in, you have to fully submit yourself to the achievement of that goal. Declare more than enough your desire to move on, and live life the way a man who has already moved on does. I don’t mean burning all the cheeky photographs of you and her wearing those lousy couple shirts saying “To infinity and beyond”. (For God’s sake, who are you? Buzz Lightyear?) What I mean is learn to accept the fact that she is no more than a memory — faded and still in a poorly-lit photograph.

Know what you want.

Backpacking can be overwhelming. It can be tedious but it doesn’t need to be hard. Choose where you want to go.


Would you like to go kill time by the beach listening to the persistent crashing of the waves against the shore until you could no longer hear anything but the slow, rhythmic beats of your heart — your stupid and broken heart? Bantayan Island beckons.


Or, you could go for a hike and cry all your sorrows dry until the deafening silence of the mountains lulls you to sleep. Bocaue Peak is an amazing sanctuary.

Pack light.


The trick is to travel light. Choose the things you want to take with you carefully. You might have not made the best decisions in the past, but second chances are real for those who deserve them. Learn how to see things beyond what they seem. Make intelligent decisions and learn from your mistakes. You may not need that extra set of clothes “just in case”. Or, you may need more water than what your 32-ounce Nalgene can contain. Choices. Whether you like it or not, we are judged by the choices we make.

Choose your company.


Peer pressure is what they call it. Most of the times, the unfavorable predicaments that ensnare you are not entirely born out of your lack of sound judgment. Sometimes, it may be the people around you that push you to do things thus. While surrounding yourself with friends is great, you still need to be critical with the influence they have on you. Being alone on the right trail is always better than being with people who lead you into a viper’s pit. Know the right people and keep them in your company. Don’t be scared to make friends, but choose them well.

Appreciate what you have and where you are.


Sometimes, it is not about the destination. It may be about the journey itself. Your shoulders and legs are sore; your throat, parched dry. Yet, you still take one more step because you know it’s worth it. Love your journey. Appreciate your story. They say that at times you are so busy looking ahead that you miss the precious gems along the way.

Love yourself.


Well, if all of these fail, you may then fall back to the hackneyed platitude we tell people when we can’t think of anything wise to say to the disconsolate: Love yourself. After all, no one can love yourself better than… surprise, surprise… yourself. Think about it, you won’t want to hurt yourself, right? You won’t if your bolts are screwed tight — if you catch my drift.

Come on. While a failed relationship hurts like, uhm, some nasty peeled-off cuticles, it is not the end of the world. (Forget 2012, it is nothing but a false alarm.) Seriously, no matter how hard you drink tonight, you will still wake up with a bad hangover tomorrow. So, save your money and take it easy on your liver, buddy. Again, life is so much more than bitchy girlfriends and cheating boyfriends. Live a little more.

Hit that share button down there and save a friend.




8 thoughts on “Backpacking a Broken Heart: An Idiot’s Guide to (Failed) Relationships

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s