The first time I got heartbroken, I ran home. My University was approximately a 6-Hour bus ride to my state of origin, and I wasted no time making that trip.
The day before my journey, I called my mom to tell her I was coming over. She sensed something was wrong, but I fibbed, ‘Lagos is too hard for me, I just need a break.’ The next day, I packed my bags and took the first bus home.
I couldn’t stand the sight of anything around me without unleashing waterworks with abandon. It made embarrassing moments for both my roommates and me because I hated to show emotions publicly. It also made the first hour of my trip home equally embarrassing because I couldn’t disguise my constant sniffling and blurry eyes as a cold. It wasn’t flu season.
As I tried to ignore the build-up of aching bitterness in my chest, I found myself staring out the window wondering when my thoughts changed from utter despise of the State connected to him, to nostalgia. I missed being on the road.
I found traveling by road exciting. I got to stick my hand out the window and whip my head back and forth as the sights passed in a blur. The change of landscape from muddy hills to a thick cluster of trees, and occasionally surprising pocket of waterbodies inspired woolgathering. It was a marvelous experience.
Growing up, I indulged in creating characters before a trip. Sometimes, I was an archeologist going on a treasure hunt and turned every sight into a monument with a thrilling backstory. Sometimes, I was an undercover agent on a rescue trip. Whatever character I played gave a different definition to the scenery and people around me.
This time, there was no one else to play but the heartbroken girl longing for her mother to wrap her wounds. I found out this character too gave a different outlook on things. The trip bought me time away from obsessively checking my phone in hopes of getting notifications from him- the network was terrible. With my seclusion from the internet, I could focus on myself, and the moments that led to my decisions.
It gave me time to think things through carefully; what was best for me? What had I done wrong? How would this change my view of certain things? What did I need to do to get through this unscathed? When I found myself getting overwhelmed, I stared out the window and let the scenery distract me. By the end of the trip, I felt a lot calmer than at the beginning.
I was able to put on my cloak of romantic optimism. It is a big world, and my trip didn’t fail to show me the little bit I got to see was full of marvel. It was going to be a rough couple of weeks, but I would make it out stronger. And when in doubt, all I had to do was take a trip and let it dazzle me back to my sense.