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Reinvention, Promotion, and a Whole Load of Summer Travel

If you have read my blog for some time, you may have noticed that I have been absent for a while. On the other hand, maybe, you have not. Either way, it has been five months since I last wrote anything. Life threw me a curveball in February when I unexpectedly broke up with my long-term partner, the one who swept me off my feet on a beach in Cambodia ten years ago. I wrote about heartache in my last post, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Life has been tough: I have had more lows than I care to think about, and some days I have struggled to get through the day, but the much-needed summer holiday is here. As an International teacher, I get long summer holidays, and mine began yesterday. I cannot wait; it has been a long and challenging term.


Life has changed in four months. Distracting myself from heartbreak, I began running. I don’t enjoy it, but it takes my mind off things, so I kept doing it and signed up for a 12km race. Despite my firm belief that I am not a runner, I pushed myself across the finish line to achieve my first ever medal.

Fuelled by a burning motivation that I never previously thought possible, I attended CrossFit classes, yoga sessions, and ran 5km on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Before long, I lost 10kg 15kg.

The weight has continued to fall off, and I’m in better shape than I’ve been for years. I have thrown out most of my old clothes, replacing favourite dresses with similar items two sizes smaller. Losing weight has undoubtedly increased my self-confidence, which has taken a bit of a battering over the last few years. I wouldn’t say I’m happy, but I’m not the same person I was in February. Hopefully, happiness will follow.


I will face another change next year when I take on an additional role at work. It’s not a hugely significant role, but it is a new challenge to face. I won’t pretend that I was looking for a promotion when it came my way, but if there’s ever a time for a change, it’s now. I’m not going to lie, I’ll be buying a few more plane tickets with the extra money.

Travel Plans

I’m going to spend July and August revisiting some of my favourite places in the world, starting right here in Europe. In the first week of July, I’ll take a road trip through Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary with a friend, and we’ll visit Salzburg, Hallstatt, Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Keszthely, and Györ.

Summer in Europe is spectacular, and as we seem to be focusing on lakes, I hope to have many opportunities to flaunt my rediscovered bikini confidence!

After my road-trip, I’ll fly to Bangkok with more friends. We have a luxury hotel booked with a rooftop pool and bar area. I fully intend to forget the crappy events of this year. After a week in Thailand, I’ll go to Cambodia, hopefully reaching some of the more remote islands. I’ll be in the region for just under four weeks; not really long enough, I know, but it’s better than nothing.

Finally, I will fly back to the UK and spend two weeks in gorgeous Cornwall with my family before coming back to Slovakia for my third year in Bratislava (wow, how did that happen?!).

It’s nice to have some plans for the next few weeks because I’ve been in limbo since my relationship ended. We’d planned to move back to Europe, hoping to return to Sweden within a few years. Now Sweden is off the table; I don’t know what my next move will be.

I guess I can wait until September before I think about that. After all, a lot can happen in eight weeks.

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  1. Clare says:

    Hi Elaine, just wanted to say I admire your strength in facing all these challenges! We have a few things in common, so I have some understanding of the crap time you’re dealing with. I’m from the UK too and went through a similar horrible breakup with my own Mr handsome swept-me-off-my-feet-on-a-beach type, and dealt with it alone while living and teaching English in Prague. I almost went home… In the end I channelled my energy into writing, found a new career from that and have been travelling ever since. With your attitude I’m sure you’ll land back on your feet xx

    1. We really do have some similarities! I am slowly moving past it now and looking forward to some new adventures ahead. I see from your blog that you now have a lovely Italian fiance – congratulations! To be fair, I would rather retire somewhere like Italy or Greece than Sweden, so maybe this break-up is a good thing!

  2. Monique says:

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your journey with me, I feel so encouraged by your strength and perseverance

    1. Thank you – it’s nice to hear that. I don’t always feel very strong at the moment, but I am getting there.

  3. Rowena says:

    Congrats on new beginnings! I’m so jealous of your eastern Europe road trip!

    1. Thank you. I’m going to make sure that the new beginnings make what I had look so lame I’ll wonder why I cared so much 🙂

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