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Simply Solo Spotlight: Sometimes the Journey Really is the Reward

August 16, 2011

Happy Tuesday! How fun is it that every week I get to share a new story with you? It certainly beats my same old, same old posts! I learn so much from my guest bloggers, and today’s post is no exception. Danica’s piece is beautiful and inspiring – she makes me want to take risks, even if things don’t turn out exactly as planned. I hope you enjoy today’s guest post, and be sure to check out Danica’s personal blog and business blog.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at:

Sometimes the Journey Really is the Reward

In September of 2008, I went from being a single girl in the city to being a girl who was packing it all up to start a new life with the man of my dreams. This involved quitting my design job, which, despite having lost its glamour, was still stable in our unstable economy. It also involved giving up my two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment – the one in which I had lived for more than 12 years and had turned into my cozy and colorful little haven. Part of giving up the apartment included giving up all my furniture and practically all my belongings. Some things were passed on to my sisters, as I couldn’t bear throwing them away or putting them out on the sidewalk. I also was leaving behind my sisters and friends. All of this “giving up” and “leaving behind” was so that I could follow the man of my dreams to L.A. so that he could follow his dream. At the time, it all seemed like a very good idea.

Los Angeles was never on my list of top places to live, but after years of feeling unchallenged at work, uninspired by New York, and not to mention single, it seemed crazy for me not to agree. Fear, excitement and uncertainty would constantly creep up on me. When I told someone about my new life plan, the look on their face was enough to let me know exactly what they thought of my master plan, while others thought it was the best thing for me. I, of course, agreed with the latter group. I was in love and this seemed right. I mean, hadn’t I just spent countless Sunday brunches complaining to girlfriends about how bored I was by my work, and how guys in New York sucked, and how I had no clue when I was ever going to meet someone? Yes, I had. And off I went to L.A. … just me and him.

Needless to say, I was caught a bit off guard when three months later, the same guy who told me I was the love of his life (and yes, the same guy for whom I had just given everything up) told me I needed to go back to New York. Umm, excuse me, perhaps I misunderstood, but it just sounded like I was getting the boot … big time! Clearly, someone forgot that there was nowhere for me to go back to. I’ll admit, things hadn’t been as perfect as how I’d pictured them in my mind, but I didn’t feel like they had reached this level. So what did I do? Well, after pathetic pleading and crying and more crying on my part, he handed me a one way ticket back to NYC in the middle of December. He really was a thoughtful one.

Back in New York, I cried some more – well, A LOT more – six months’ worth of crying, to be exact. I felt such emptiness. I had been dumped before, but this felt much worse than just being dumped. I felt like my whole world had just crashed right in front of me and I had absolutely no backup plan – I hadn’t even followed my gut instinct to sublet my apartment. “Why not?!” you ask? That’s exactly what he said when I brought it up.

While in New York, I spent many hours thinking about what I was going to do next. On the one hand, my situation was ideal, what so many craved – no apartment, no job, no relationship, absolutely no attachments. On the other hand, it was the worst of the worst – lonely, sad and directionless. At some point, I realized the crying needed to end. Something inside me finally kicked in and helped me get my butt in gear and come up with a new plan. Since it was clear to me that going back to a 9-5 job was not an option for me (not something I wanted), I thought about what I really did want to do with my life, and that was to travel and start my own business. L.A. may not have been on my list of top destinations, but Morocco certainly was. And with that, I decided to make it happen! I took on odd job after odd job just so I could save enough. I reached out to every female entrepreneur I could find doing design work with artisans. I did as much research as I could and hounded as many people as would let me until I got as much information as I needed to get me started on MY big adventure.

Carpets Ismail 040511 098In June of 2009, with plane ticket in hand, I left for beautiful Morocco, a place that I would make my home for the next ten months. It was an amazing experience and one I wouldn’t change for the world. (You can read about my experience here.) I was no longer crying, okay, occasionally I was, but not for the same reasons I had been. My experience was a roller coaster full of ups and downs. I finally felt like I was living again and doing it my way.

I am now back in New York, where I still don’t have an apartment, or a 9-5 job, or many belongings, but I am happy again. After two years of being single, I have even started dating again. I am still waiting for someone to “knock me off my feet” as the Beth Orton song goes, but when I do find him, I may even follow him across the country or to some other country if he asks, because as I’ve learned, sometimes the road taking you to where you need to be might be a lot more winding than you may have planned.

Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2011 9:10 am

    Wow, moving from NY to LA and being that far from home for a breakup must have been awful. But traveling to Morocco sounds amazing! I have so many questions…I’m headed over to your blog now to read about it!

    • August 17, 2011 12:02 pm

      Yes, it was bad, but once I landed in Morocco, I must admit I did not think about my breakup or LA very much 🙂 Morocco is truly an amazing place full of amazing (and sometimes crazy) people…I look forward to going back myself one day soon. Thanks for reading my story!

  2. August 16, 2011 9:37 am

    I’m trying really hard not to sound all Spice Girl cliche but what the hell! YOU GO GIRRRRLLLL! It is so easy to crumble and fall apart. You chose the braver path and did something for you.

    • August 17, 2011 12:07 pm

      Thanks Tori! It definitely felt good to follow my own adventure…it made it a lot easier to get over all the other stuff too. It also made me realize that I was always in control but for a long time I let fear get in the way of allowing myself to do what I truly wanted….In recommend it!

  3. August 16, 2011 9:41 am

    Love the way you wrapped this one up. It’s been a while since I’ve heard anyone quote Beth Orton (if ever?) and you’re right to be open to that winding road. . .it’s funny how tomorrow – you may find yourself facing a different direction than today. The very idea begets hope. . .

    Oh – and you’re really not missing anything in LA, btw. . .

    • August 17, 2011 12:21 pm

      It’s so true, you never know where the path will take you but I think it ends up being better than what you had imagined for yourself….it’s just a matter of being open to what comes your way….thanks for reading!

  4. August 16, 2011 10:24 am

    What an amazing story!! I am so envious of your courage to move somewhere foreign and new all by yourself! That’s so inspiring! Good luck to you and I can’t wait to read more on your blog!

    • August 17, 2011 12:12 pm

      Thanks Smh05j for reading my story. Thanks for the wishes too. It was definitely not an easy move to make but I am learning that once you take the first step, the next one is right behind and all of sudden you are in it and you cant turn back.

  5. August 16, 2011 11:21 am

    What an amazing story, and haven’t many of us been there? You had the courage to do something about it, though! Such a happy read. Thank you.

    • August 17, 2011 12:13 pm

      Thank you for the comment…I’m glad you enjoyed it and that I could add a little happiness to your day 🙂

  6. Mariane permalink
    August 16, 2011 1:29 pm

    Okay, here’s the mistake. When you give up that much and move that far, make him marry you first. If he doesn’t, don’t pack, don’t go, it’s over. You still get to cry for six months, but in your apartment. If he says yes, you sell and go, and he still kicks you out, then you call a lawyer and take half his money.

    • August 17, 2011 12:16 pm

      Lesson learned….was just thinking this morning that I don’t think I would move in with another partner again until it’s official…though I am not opposed to having whoever he may be follow me wherever the journey takes me next…

  7. August 16, 2011 11:00 pm

    Los Angeles would be at the very bottom of my list of places to live. I’d much rather follow you to Morocco instead – sounds like quite the adventure! Thanks for sharing.

    • August 17, 2011 12:17 pm

      LA was on the bottom of my list too but I guess lovewill make you do some crazy things 🙂

  8. Random Cook permalink
    August 17, 2011 11:55 am

    I always have wanted to just pack up and go somewhere exotic. I had this vision about moving to the Caribbean, cooking in some little fish hut on the beach and just hanging out with locals. I think I really ended up just wanting a long vacation and wasn’t out to change the world or learn something about myself. In the end, it’s still on the list of things I would love to do, but probably never will. Glad you got a chance to experience that adventure. Good luck to you!

    • August 17, 2011 12:19 pm

      I say do it! My only suggestion might be to plan a bit more than I did but perhaps if I had done that I would not have gone…thanks!

  9. I like boys who wear glasses permalink
    August 17, 2011 2:36 pm

    “… sometimes the road taking you to where you need to be might be a lot more winding than you may have planned.”

    Love that sentence. I’m usually more straightforward with things, even love: I want it, how do I get there fastest? Maybe I should indeed lean back a little more and let things find it’s way in a slower pace…

    Beautiful story 🙂

    • August 29, 2011 1:16 pm

      I think that we often want to get to where we think we want to be or should be (maybe I just speak for myself) but I am a believer that things happen for a reason and they happen as they should happen. Of course when I was in the situation I could not see or understand why it was happening but as time passed, it became clear to me that this is how it was supposed to happen. I may never have done what I did had I stayed in a relationship I thought I was supposed to be in. And what is most exciting to me is knowing that my story is not yet over. I have no clue where I am supposed to be or who I am supposed to be with but I do think I am getting closer in a roundabout way. Thanks for reading 🙂

  10. August 17, 2011 11:08 pm

    Yes, true the journey is part of the reward. I so relate to this since I am a cyclist and have long distance bike touring with my dearie in North America and Europe since I’ve known him.

    What does help in that journey is steady rudder of trust, communication and attention as well as love.

    There are many symmetries of travelling journey and journey of love for he and I: when he is cycling solo on long trips, he and I phone, skype or phone each evening. He wants to share his day’s cycling experiences which I can as a cyclist relate well. But part of that is tiny to all the other communication, as one example of many.

  11. September 16, 2011 2:30 pm

    You are so right, I love that! The journey is part of the reward. I started to get that feeling when I fled to CR after my world came crumbling down. When I started to learn how to be single again, and remembered that the hardest part of the ordeal is now over (and now I’m only dealing with residual stuff) I started to appreciate where my journey had taken me. Not everyone could be enjoying their post-breakup in Costa Rica, and not everyone had gotten accepted to a Speech Pathology program so they could pick up and start THE NEXT chapter in life when summer is over.
    So now I’m sitting here, in a new town, getting used to be a student again. And I don’t regret what happened one bit, I just know that I can’t go backwards because I’ve come so far already.

  12. Kaitlin permalink
    March 26, 2013 12:41 am

    Thanks for this post. I just recently moved to Georgia from New York because of a guy…kind of. Not really. We were dating for three months when he moved to GA for school. I was going to finish my associate’s degree in NY (only one semester), and then I would move to Georgia to go to his school and get my bachelor’s degree. We were going to live together, we had talks about getting married and having children, but after a few months of long distance, a month before I was supposed to move in with him, we broke up. I still moved anyway. I felt like I had to…I was planning on moving for so long; I knew I would feel like a failure if I didn’t move. I felt like it was time to move on from my job anyway, and I wanted to move out of my parents’ house. While I am not going to school here yet because I’m waiting for the in-state tuition, I still feel like it was the right decision for me. No “what-ifs” about the relationship had I not moved. Plus, the school I’m going to go to is a good one. I have my doubts sometimes, and the breakup (of my first official relationship btw) was harder to deal with when I moved and didn’t have friends nearby…but I have two roommates who are pretty cool and one of my two jobs I now have is going to give me some experience in the field that I know is the one I want to be in for the rest of my life. The town I live in is nice as well. I will be glad when I feel like it is my own town, and not his. I don’t have many friends yet, and my ex and I have barely talked (only because I started the conversations – which all lasted no more than one or two replies anyway), but I know this independence is what I need. And if my ex doesn’t have the decency to even ask how I am or how the move went (after we agreed to be friends and maybe casually see each other if I moved), then I don’t want to be with him anyway. I am done with pining over people who don’t want me back. While I am not ready to start dating again, I plan on taking this time to really figure myself out and learn to love myself. It is hard at times, but like they say (whoever “they” are), nothing in life worth doing is ever easy. Or something like that.

  13. Kaitlin permalink
    March 26, 2013 12:43 am

    Oh, and I also don’t think I will be living with someone before marriage, now, as well. Lol

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