The mail function has been disabled by an administrator.

How to Fix a Broken Heart

Lock up those emotions and lock them up tight. Izabela Wlodarczyk

Dealing with the heartbreak of living abroad. 

Get ready for your heart to break and mend, over and over again, as you work or journey abroad. Of course, our hearts break whether we stay in our home country or not, but when we move abroad it becomes another kind of complicated. I’m not sure if Adele has a song about that yet. She should.

Living abroad means you will meet new people who will come into your life for perhaps only a few short weeks or months at a time. Sometimes a few of these people make such a great impression on you that leaving them and moving on to the next seems almost unbearable. If they are the first to leave, it feels even worse. And I bet you thought Jack and Rose had problems.

With the ability to text and video call it will be easier to stay in touch, but don’t be fooled into thinking that these methods of communication can stand up to the real thing. You may not be forgotten, but you will become a memory and there is nothing you can do about it except befriend the next poor soul and hopefully you break their heart this time. Just joking—don’t do that, that would be cruel.

It feels like you are never truly whole without the people who shared in that experience with you. That isn’t really romantic—it actually feels a bit masochistic.

The truth is that you will miss some great moments: the beginnings of relationships, birthdays, graduations, road trips, weddings, or the birth of a baby. You will also not be able to be there in person for your loved ones when they are going through very difficult times.

As time goes on, this breaking and mending will become the norm and soon your heart will be broken into pieces all over the world. Sounds romantic, right? Well. . .while it is a beautiful thing to feel connected and appreciated everywhere (“Hey, you may not realize this, but someone in X country loves me, you know”) it also feels like you are never truly whole without the people who shared in that experience with you. That isn’t really romantic—it actually starts to feel a bit masochistic.

But wait, wasn’t this post supposed to tell you how to fix a broken heart? Well, I lied in order to get you to read this; I work in marketing after all. If we knew how to fix broken hearts we would probably be way more evolved, productive, and stress-free. We would be less obsessed with watching relationships start and end for our own entertainment.

Basically, there is no way to fix it. You will just have to prepare for it, try to be realistic and deal with it by imagining that each time you leave a piece behind, your heart rejuvenates and becomes bigger and stronger, which is not scientific—or even true. That’s why I used the word “imagine.” You will pretend that your heart is elastic and unbreakable and one day you won’t have to pretend anymore because it will be true. You will realize that you now have a friend, a couch, or a home in some other distant place and you will take comfort in knowing that you are likely to see each other again.

I don’t know how many days and tears I wasted on missing people only to end up seeing them again.

I could have spent that time learning how to use a loom or something.

The views expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Cuso International.

Add this article to your reading list
Published in Volunteer Abroad Blogs
Izabela Wlodarczyk

After obtaining degrees in human rights and international project management, Izabela Wlodarczyk has worked in Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico and Bolivia in various roles, including as a consultant and editor. 

Website: https://www.facebook.com/travelwithinvitaveritas/

Join the Verge Community

Verge Magazine Membership

Join our community of savvy travellers and put nearly two decades of inspiring articles, authoritative information and expert advice to work for you.

Show me more > Login >


Travel Intelligence Bulletin


The latest openings overseas—direct to your inbox.

Subscriber Login


Travel with purpose; travel for good. Articles, resources and events for ethical and meaningful travel, volunteering, working and studying abroad.

Verge believes in travel for change. International experience creates global citizens, who can change our planet for the better. This belief is at the core of everything we do.

Like what you see?

Follow us on social media