“I went through a bad divorce with a lot of heartache,” says Lucie Muns, who went surfing in Costa Rica following a split. She found the ocean healing and the all-female Surf Diva camp filled with supportive surfers—many were also nursing breakup wounds. Her advice: “Disconnect from the immediate place of heartache, whether you go five or 3,000 miles away.”
Travelers know that a change of environment helps clear your head and rejuvenate your spirit, and for the newly single, there’s the added benefit of putting some physical space between you and your ex. Even notoriously romantic destinations like Italy can be liberating if you’re coming out of a divorce, especially if you embrace a fresh way of traveling, such as joining a singles-only bike tour through Piedmont wine country.
There are some places you’d be wise to avoid—honeymoon hot spots or anywhere that you might have traveled with your former flame. After all, salt is for rubbing onto the margarita glasses, not into the wounds.
You can literally leave your problems on land when you embark on Surf Diva’s five-day Surf School. “When we ride a wave, we conquer our fears,” says founder Izzy Tihanyi of the female-only classes offered. It’s empowering and just plain fun. Located at La Jolla Shores, Surf Diva is within walking distance from the chic Hotel La Jolla, which relaunched in summer 2012, and about a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego.
De-stress, improve circulation, and increase your energy in the natural restorative hot springs (85–105 degrees) at Dunton Hot Springs, a former mining town in the picturesque Colorado Rockies. Packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, and a “dash” of lithium, the waters are yours to enjoy alfresco or in a 19th-century bathhouse. There are 12 log cabins as well as safari-style tents available down the road at Cresto Ranch, a sister property opening in June 2013.
Whether refining your culinary talents or learning the basics, the Biltmore Hotel’s Culinary Academy is a cathartic way to gain skills, meet new people, and be part of lively group meals. The three-day boot camp, taught by chef Lourdes Castro, starts with kitchen organization; by day three, you’ll be braising short ribs and serving stewed pork with a smoky chipotle sauce. All this with the retro glamour that comes with a stay at the Biltmore (est. 1926), where you can unwind after class by the opulent pool or in a Frette robe back in your room.
Cycle past scenic vineyards and hill towns on Backroads’ new six-day Singles-Solos tour of Piedmont, which delivers Italy’s charms without the risk of honeymooners in your tour group. You’ll stop at a 10th-century castle that now serves as a wine cellar, the hot springs of Acqui Terme, and Monforte d’Alba, known for the nebbiolo grape used to produce Barolo wine. Accommodations include a 16th-century monastery-turned-hotel, and you can swap tips with fellow bikers at facebook.com/backroads4singles before you depart.
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas
While honeymooners have long been courted by resorts, lately singles have suitors, too. And they don’t get much more desirable than Kamalame Cay, a secluded complex of 19 villas on a sandy, three-mile spit off of Andros Island. Its Le Divorce package includes a snorkeling trip or fishing excursion as well as a treatment at the overwater resort spa. Note your cocktail, music, and author preferences on the resort's “vice and virtue” form in advance, then prepare for sneaky surprises throughout your stay.See more of the Best Places to Travel After a Breakup