Les Salines, Sainte Anne, Martinique

I would really like it if we could stay friends. There are so many things I love about you, parts of you I find charming, and I put so much into our relationship: trying new things, meeting your friends and family, but it didn’t fulfill me. I waded in the deepest rivers of your soul and climbed the tallest mountains to get to your heart. I looked over the precipice cand saw something awe-inspiring: the possibility of something more, something better.

I wanted things to work. It was hurting me to stay but I tried to be strong. I cried some nights, waiting—nay, searching—for something that would make me say “I want to be in this place, with you, forever.” I didn’t find it. Truthfully, I envy the ones who love you—the ones who find joy within you. I wish I could be like them.

Your warmth, the music you played at night, how everything and everyone flourishes around you… I love those things about you and I don’t know if I’ll find them again but that doesn’t mean we should start a life together. I can’t settle—I have too much to see and do, and with you, I’m isolated. I didn’t belong there. I didn’t sense any permanence. It was like you and your family kept expecting me to leave and never fully accepted me. Others like me have left you so I tried to be different. In the end I, too, felt isolated and stifled on this tiny island of us.

You wanted to know why, if I left you once, would I bother coming back? Well, for you, silly. For us. I wanted to get to know you and your family as they are, not as I wished them to be. I wanted to experience every part of you, explore every inch of you. I longed to know your secrets. I don’t regret coming back for you but I think about who I would be with if I hadn’t. I wonder if I would be in love for real. I’ll never forget what we had together; it taught me new skills and shaped me as a person. It’s just time to move on.

I know that I will yearn for you when I’m gone. I will miss what we had even though it wasn’t real—because it wasn’t real.  I can’t expect to have that freedom and security again. I will miss the people in your family who supported me, the people who became my family. I am sad I have to leave them on account of you.
But the truth is that I never loved you; and if we’re honest, Martinique, you never loved me either.


15 thoughts on “Break-Up Letter # 1”

  1. After 4.5 years of living in Delhi, India I am about to relocate back to Sydney. You have articulated exactly how I feel. I didn’t know how to express it without coming across critical, judgemental and generally negative about my time in India. Thanks for your insight.

    1. Hi Louise,

      That’s exactly what I was trying to do. I enjoyed Martinique, definitely, and I spent a lot of time there so it’s difficult to say goodbye…Thanks for your comment!

      Yours in Travel,


  2. I have never broken up with an entire country. I fall in love with most of them.

    I’m not saying that I am promiscuous; I have deep and meaningful relationships with so many countries.

    Of course there are several whose love is not only profound, but it’s also passionate and intense. And to those lovers I often come back for more.

    There are also some where the relationship has cooled off a bit, and I don’t get the same pleasure I once did. The love-making has become rather routine and ordinary with those countries.

    Then there are those who the relationship may have started to sour and the things I once loved about them now have begun to grate my nerves. However, I never forget why I loved them in the first place and I always find myself coming back and forgiving them. Many times this requires some painful self-reflection (Israel, I’m talking to you).

    However, I said that I fall in love with *most* countries, but there are others with which I’ve had short, pleasure-filled, hedonistic rendezvous and then never spoke to them again (nor did I need to). And there were others that did not have that initial spark and I just went through the typical motions, and sometimes I did feel a little bit cheap afterwards.

    I hope the day never comes where I have to break-up with a country that I love because when I think of my plentiful but high-quality lovers, it hurts me to even think of the possibility.

    1. Hey Vernon,

      Lovely letter – it was a perfect continuation of my concept. Thanks for your comment!

      Yours in Travel,


  3. This articulates pretty close to how I feel about Greece. I want to love it so bad but I just never quite have. I certainly love aspects of it but as a whole I find that I have trouble truly getting on the some page as the masses who seem to absolutely adore it.

    1. Hi Kirsten,

      Thanks for your comment! It’s tough spending a long time somewhere and never feeling connected to it – especially when everyone else around you does. You can keep looking or move on – just like a real relationship.

      Yours in Travel,


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