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This is probably my 400th attempt at writing this post. So far, I have failed every time I tried to put my thoughts into words, but I feel like I need to finally talk about the changes in my personal life and on Globetrottergirls.

You might have noticed that Jess has vanished from the site over the last couple of months. Some of you have already suspected it, and some of you even got in touch and asked what was going on (I appreciate your emails). The ones among you who suspected it were right – Jess and I are not together anymore.

Jess decided to end our relationship and to leave Globetrottergirls quietly, which I respect. I won’t lie – this break up has been the worst thing that has ever happened to me and I am still struggling to come to terms with it. I have been trying to write about it for weeks, but always ended up with many tears and few written words. My heart is broken, I am still extremely shaken up and it will take me a while to get over this.

What happened?

We had just overcome the effects of a horrible sickness and a somewhat frustrating travel experience in Bolivia, but were on a high again in Peru where we fell in love with Cuzco and went on to have one of the most rewarding travel experiences of all of our travels: finishing the five-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

dani and jess at machu picchu
The last picture of us as a couple: Reaching Machu Picchu after a five day trek through the Andres

Just a few days later, we had an argument that blew up to such dimensions that I found myself on a plane to Germany a week later while Jess flew to her family in Chicago. Those first few days were nothing but a big blur, I don’t remember much of what was going on around me.

In February, there were days when I thought I wouldn’t make it through this, followed by days when I was even able to pursue business endeavors for which the seeds had been put in my head a long, long time ago. Terrible lows were followed by extreme highs, but then followed by terrible lows again.

I finally pulled myself together and an amazing group of friends, some of which I had long forgotten and neglected until my unexpected visit to Germany, helped me with their incredible support, words of wisdom and encouragement, getting me to begin to think I’d make it through this.

Even now, after some time has passed, I am still not able to talk about what exactly happened between me and Jess – the pain still sits too deep – but I am sure I will talk about it when I am ready as part of my healing process. For now, I just want to say that she did have reasons to leave, of course, and not unfounded reasons. I didn’t see the end of our relationship coming at all, and would be lying if I said I wouldn’t still be in shock about the abrupt break up. I was convinced that this relationship was going to last forever, and am realizing now, with some distance to everything that happened, that I was blind to many warning signs and that my image of this seemingly picture-perfect relationship was somewhat distorted. Even if you spend 24/7 together for nearly four years (we actually had a 24/7 relationship longer than we had a ‘normal’ relationship), run a business together, live your dream and travel the world together, your ideas and visions for the rest of your life can change drastically and drift away from each other.

The only thing I can do now is learn from this dreadful experience that literally shook up my entire world – not only did I lose my girlfriend, but also my best friend, my business partner, my fellow globetrottergirl – and vouch that I won’t be making the same mistakes again in the future.

Dani

What the future holds for me

I made the right decision when I returned to Germany to be with my family instead of continuing to travel through Peru on my own. Even though I barely spent any time with them over the last few years, they were exactly what I needed to get through this. Upon my arrival, I met my brand new nephew who I fell head over heels in love with. My little nieces are so adorable that they are always able to dry my tears – they don’t even know how much they have done for me.

In March, I returned to Berlin, a city Jess and I had chosen as a potential future base for the two of us after falling in love with the city last summer, spent a month there and was happy to discover that I still loved the city just as much, and will probably make it my home base sooner or later.

I took the opportunity to spend a week in Malta last month where I was able to reflect on our relationship and the break-up, finding closure and also rediscovering my love for travel and exploring new places, something that had disappeared after the break up.

For the foreseeable future, I will continue to roam the globe, taking the time I need to heal and figure out what I want to do with my life. I have to admit that I am not a good solo traveler and it will take me a while to transform from a ‘couple traveler’ into a ‘solo traveler’.

When I was offered a housesit in New York City (where we had a housesit together last May/June) I didn’t think about it twice and will be spending the next couple of months in the city I’d move to in a heartbeat. New York City is easily my favorite place in the world, and I am hoping that spending time in a place I love and I am familiar with will not only help me heal but also help me ease in becoming a solo traveler. I am actually getting ready for my flight to New York as this post goes live.

New York New YorkI am not sure yet where I’ll travel to after the housesit, except for a short road trip through British Colombia (more details on that soon) and a quick getaway to the Pacific Northwest. I have a million ideas but at the moment, my travel plans change on a daily basis. I am still taking it day by day, and I am confident that something will come up and lead me into the right direction.

The future of Globetrottergirls

After this unexpected change in my life, not only the plans for my future have been changing on a daily basis, but also my plans on what to do with this website. In the beginning, I had a breakdown every time I published a post on a place we visited together, and had a hard time looking at the pictures and video footage of our last adventures as a couple. I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep the site, but realized quickly that I can’t picture my life without Globetrottergirls. I will continue to share my last trips with Jess, but will also begin to share my own travels as I transition into being a solo female traveler. The stories of our last trips as a couple deserve being told, too, which is why I will sprinkle them in over the next few weeks, whenever I am ready to share them, since it is still extremely painful for me to go through those pictures and relive the good times we had.

The emails and comments I’ve been receiving were a big part of what kept me going over the last few months, what kept me sane and helped me rediscover my love for writing, sharing stories and help you plan your own dream trip, and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who emailed asking for travel advice, telling us we’d inspired them to go on their own dream trip, or just checking in to see if everything was okay with us.

If any of you would like to get in touch with Jess, please just shoot me an email and I’d be happy to forward you her contact details.

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73 Comments

  1. I am so sorry Dani, that is horrible. Break ups are one of the hardest things that anyone will ever have to go through and I am glad you had the support of your family to begin to get through this. I think that spending the next couple of months in your favourite city in the world will help too. Good luck with your new life of solo travel and I look forward to your next posts 🙂

  2. Dany, I’m so sorry to read this post! I so enjoyed meeting the 2 of you in NYC last year.

    If you come through B.C. like it says you are please don’t hesitate to contact me! I have some other travel friends here and we could have a little get together!

    Take care!!!
    Andrea

  3. Sending you so many hugs from across the globe! I know this is so, so sad. But I just know you’ll transition to an excellent solo adventurer, helped along by the awesome community of travelers you’ve built up around Globetrottergirls.

    I can’t wait to read your posts about NYC! Have a slice of Grimaldi’s for me, ok?

    Hope we see you again very soon so I can give you a hug in real life! 🙂

  4. Hi Dani, sending you more hugs right now. I hope you’ll be okay soon. I’m sure you will get through this. It’s really sad and I’ve seen how hurt you are. More hugs dear. It was nice to finally meet you in Berlin.

  5. Dear Dany,

    Nothing I can say will lessen your pain and grieving over this lost love – just know that I am thinking of you. Life really hands us some awfully hard things to deal with – not ever our choice, and we must somehow figure out how to live through those and find joy again. It’s a long and slow process, and there will be days when you can’t imagine ever feeling good again. You will.

    Be well, I know you will, in time.

    Sharon

  6. I am so sorry to hear that. Break ups are always hard and it will take some time to get over it, but I wish you all the strength you need and I am glad that you are keeping the site a life. Big hug from Peru. xxx

  7. I cannot image how hard that post was to write. I am so sorry that you two are no longer together. While I am sure there is little I can say to make you feel better, I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and this will be the catalyst for something new and beautiful in your life. It looks like it already is. <3

  8. We are so sorry to hear about the break-up. We have very much enjoyed following your adventures and will certainly not stop now! Besides, we want to be there when you eventually meet that special someone on the road in the least expected place. And if you ever don’t want to travel alone, contact us. We’re always up for a trip! 🙂
    We have also been traveling for several years as a couple and can not imagine the pain of suddenly traveling alone. I hope that it eventually rejuvenates you though and gives you a strong sense of independence and strength. So glad that you have a strong group of friends to get you through the roughest of times. 🙂

  9. Sending you both lots of love. I am sorry for you pain Dani but am inspired by your emotional honesty and strength. Just know that you are loved and supported wherever you go, whomever you go with. Much love xoxo

  10. Big hugs to you as you set out on the next leg of your journey. Relationships are tempestius beasts and I am of the belief that those who live and work with their partner 24/7 are people who are passionate and understanding. Hold onto the good times you had but let them give you the power to move forward. I hope you continue to fall in love with the locations you visit, we’ll look forward to a visit from our fav GTG should our paths cross during our time in the USA.

  11. I’m a bit of a late follower of GlobetrotterGirls but I am still so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I can’t imagine, especially with building and creating a business together, it must be exponentially harder.

    Sending good vibes and my thoughts to you. Hope it all feels better soon. Slowly, but surely, it will.

  12. I am really, really sorry to hear about this. Breakups are always hard, but must be even more difficult when it is also tired to your business.

    I traveled with my ex in Southeast Asia last year and I know how hard it can be to have to sort through all the photos together and have all your memories of these places tied to happier times with another person. I wish you the best of luck and strength to get through this. Hopefully writing and blogging can provide some sort of emotional closure.

  13. I’m so sorry to hear this after meeting both of you as a couple. But, honestly, I hope you can both grow into bigger and better versions of yourselves now as you move on. And as for the site – Globetrotter Girls can now take on a new meaning. It can be a resource for any “globetrotter girls” out there – whether they be couples or solo travelers, gay or straight. It doesn’t have to be a term confined to the two of you, but what you can now offer other female travelers. Good luck with your new ventures and I’ll still keep following along!

  14. We are very sorry to hear about your break-up. It hurts most when you least expect it and will hurt less when you embrace the present and the change.

    Bob and I wish you all the best in whatever you do, but most of all, try and have some fun! You are going to be in my favorite city! Say hello to Brooklyn for me! xx

  15. I second Sam – well done fro writing this! It was a pleasure hanging out with you in Berlin and I look forward to seeing you again when you return. Big love x

  16. I’m so sorry to read this post, Dany. Losing your loved one is the worst feeling in the world and especially when you’ve shared so much and been so close.

    My thoughts are with you, and I hope you will feel better soon <3

  17. I have never read such an open, heartfelt, brutally honest and at the same heartbreaking and optimistic blog! Even though your relationship is over, I always admired your dedication for each other and what you do. For me, it’s asign that true love and passion DO exist. I wish you all the best!

  18. We are really sorry to hear that – that must have been an incredibly hard post to write. We are glad that Globetrotter Girls is here to stay though – the travel blogger universe just would not be the same without it! All the best and we are looking forward to your next stories!

  19. Well done for having the courage to write this post – hats off to you Dany. What you must be going through right now must be very tough but you should know that we’re all thinking of you and sending love your way.
    Take this time to heal and we look forward to hearing about your next adventures.
    Carmen x

  20. I don’t know you or Jess but I’m so sorry to hear about this and the obvious pain you’re going through Such an abrupt ending must have made it even more difficult for you. Don’t rush anything (not that you asked this complete stranger for advice!) but just do what you’re comfortable with then you’re ready. Real friends and family will be there for you when you need them and I’m confident that somewhere down the road (or tarmac) someone who sounds as thoughtful and nice as you will have a better life than the one you’d already been imagining. Best wishes to you.

  21. Dani, you’ve already started your healing with what you love: travelling. And we believe all the blur will clear and you will look at this from different perspective. Brave you are to share this with all of us. Hugs!!

  22. So sorry for your pain but so glad to hear that you will continue on this journey. Globetrotter Girls have been a huge inspiration to me and played a big role in my taking the huge step I did seven months ago to follow in your footsteps. I hope that both of you heal quickly and find peace and that you will always look upon your journey together with love.

    Exciting to hear you will be going to the Pacific Northwest as that is my home and has some beautiful sites to see. I will actually be there for the summer and would love to meet up and maybe show you some of my favorite spots.

    Take care and know that you have masses of support from all over the world!

  23. Really sorry to read this Dani, but such an honest and beautifully written piece. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to reading about your adventures.

  24. So sorry to hear about your breakup. I’m just finishing several months volunteering in Consuelo,a trip that started with this blog. Glad to hear you’ll continue writing and inspiring others with your love of travel.

  25. Hi Dani, I’m really, really sorry to hear about what happened. It hits doubly hard to see another long-term travel, digital nomad couple break up. Sending you lots of love! Hopefully we’ll see you again if we make it up to New York this summer.

  26. Gosh, The very worst thing about sharing your life on a blog is just that. Sharing. The good, bad and plain ugly. I can’t imagine how hard it is for the both of you. It will be so hard to share your joint final travel adventures. But of necessity you will have to look at the photos and relive them, which in itself will lend some perspective and help you move forward. Be assured of our (your friends and blog followers) support at you move forward.

  27. So sorry to hear about this, Dani. Sending you thoughts of peace, love & healing, and hoping you’ll continue to share your adventures via GTG.

  28. Tough one, girlfriend. My sympathies. Hurts like a bitch and when you automatically go to turn to the one you’ve always turned to – BAM, right, they’re not there.
    Travelling solo is a challenge sometimes but once you get the hang of it there are many gifts. I will watch with interest as you navigate this new challenge.
    If you do come to Vancouver, Canada, drop me a line if you’d like to go for coffee. 🙂

  29. When we met in Berlin for a wonderful day of photography, I’d never have known you were going such a painful experience. All I witnessed was a confident, fun, lively and vastly capable woman. I have absolutely zero doubt you can solo travel and that you’ll move on through this next chapter of life as successfully as you did the last. Sending you a bagful of positive travel karma.

  30. Dani, once again respect for penning such a heartfelt piece! I can imagine how much it takes to put your thoughts and feelings down in writing. For the little we know each other I somehow sense that you are already “on your way” I know, I wrote that before). The new path may have some unexpected bends and bumps in the road, but you somehow feel ready for the challenge, ready to move and ready to move forward.
    I’m sure that it’s not only you who suffers and the two of you most likely marvel at the magnificent chapter your wrote together. Consider it a sparkling treasure, leaf through it every now and then and take the time to figure out how the new chapter may look like, scribble around, cross things out again but dare to write (on)!
    I wish you strength and patience as well as inspiration to go and grow and may every decision (no matter how big) feel “right” and guide…
    Best wishes, take care and enjoy NY!
    Oliver

  31. I keep writing and deleting… I don’t want to say anything stupid, I am probably not the right person to talk about love and relationships. I just feel sorry reading about your pain, and I hope time will soon do what it has to…

  32. So sorry to hear about your break up. It is tough to be in the public eye and need to share such personal experiences, but that same sharing can help heal as well. It can also help others with changes in their lives. You have a big support group out in the travel world as well as your family at home. Hugs.

  33. I’m really sad to read this post – and amazed that you were able to write it at all. Break-ups are never easy, but having to tell complete strangers about it on a blog afterwards… you are stronger than I probably would be.

    At the same time, I’m glad to hear that you will continue traveling and blogging. I hope paths will cross again someday.

  34. Hi Dani, it’s Steve C. My heart is with you. It’s such a drag when things like this happen. It would be nice to be able to buy “no fault insurance” for this type of human collision. Or, maybe a quickie lobotomy to help us forget sooner, rather than a drug-out later.
    I’ll be here to follow you in your future journeys. My hope is that you parted ways peacefully with Jess. It’s not for us to take sides. It’s my desire just to be your friend.

    1. “It would be nice to be able to buy ‘no fault insurance’ for this type of human collision.”

      Steve C, this is the best response to a breakup announcement I’ve heard in a long time… maybe ever. If it’s yours and if I ever repeat it, I will certain credit it to you!

  35. I am so very sorry to hear this Dany. I hope that you and Jess both find happiness and health in your futures, even if they are apart. All my best,

    Brian D.
    White Plains NY

  36. I’m a little bit late for this, but I’m so sorry to hear about the break-up Dani. It must be very difficult for you and I’m sending you well-wishes for everything.

    I admire you for your courage and bravery to sit down and write about this – I know all too well what writing can do to the soul and I also know how horrific the experience can be to recall something that hurts us.

    I’m glad to know that you will keep on traveling and writing and posting on Instagram! 🙂

  37. I’m so sorry for everything that happened. A breakup is quite possibly the hardest thing in life to go through but support from friends and family goes a long long way to putting us on the right path after such things.

    I have great respect for the way you have handled this and I think it’s brave of you to be in the public eye with this and continue to finish your journey as a couple and tie up this chapter.

    My blog is in a such an infancy but I often check here as a reminder of what a real travel blog works like and I would be mortified to see you stop. When I started my site your place was one of the first I came across.

    I look forward to your journey from now onwards and hope that he awesome NYC (I love that city!) gives you an amazing time. It’s hard not to have an amazing time there!

  38. I’m so sorry to hear this. Craig and I send you much love and we know you will grow in strength as you rediscover yourself. The happy times are ready to embrace you again

  39. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Sending HUGE hugs to you BOTH! Hope you both find the happiness you are so looking for. xo

  40. I’ve been thinking about you so much! Kudos for writing this post. I can only imagine how difficult it must be. You’re stronger than you realize and you will get through it. Any time you need to chat, just let me know.

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