Best places for a breakup
POSTED: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 8:22am
UPDATED: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 8:24am
CNN — CNN originally published this travel tribute to the brokenhearted this past Valentine's Day. But with tonight's U.S. TV "The Bachelortte" season finale featuring bachelorette Desiree Harstock trying to rebound from last week's devastating dumping at the hands of contestant Brooks Forester -- and at least one of the remaining contestants certain to get the worst news of his life -- we feel compelled to help out with the damage control by republishing this breakup travel advice.
Breaking up in a foreign land isn't as bad as you might imagine.
For one thing, you're saved the torment of going into emo meltdown in front of familiar faces.
Even better, if you or your soon-to-be ex choose your locale wisely, breaking up can actually be rather pleasant.
These destinations can ease the pain of saying, or hearing, those fateful words.
1. Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
It's comforting to know you're not the only one in a bad relationship.
The Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia's capital collects and exhibits dramatic love tales and objects submitted by the heartbroken.
Donations include an axe that was used to destroy an ex-girlfriend's furniture and a wedding dress that represented one lady's recovery and growth from a failed marriage.
There's also a sizable collection of underwear, handcuffs and a cell phone with a short description attached: "It was 300 days too long. He gave me his cell phone so I couldn't call him anymore."
Museum of Broken Relationships, Ćirilometodska 2, 10 000 Zagreb; +385 1485 1021; open daily (June 1-September 30) 9 a.m.- 10:30 p.m.; daily (October 1-May 31) 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.; brokenships.com
2. 'Sleep together shop,' Tokyo
There's nothing like a lonely bed to remind you just how bad your life sucks. But Tokyo has it covered.
Japan's capital has taken the maid and butler café culture to the next level with Soine-ya, a "sleep together shop" allowing male customers to sleep next to a girl for a fee.
The shop insists it's not what you think -- Soine-ya enforces a strict code of conduct to prohibit any sexual requests.
The first outlet opened a few months ago in Akihabara and a second is opening in Kabukicho, the red-light district.
Minimum charge is ¥3,000 (US$32) for 20 minutes. Extra services are available, such as staring at each other for a minute (¥1,000) and stroking the girl's hair for three minutes (¥1,000).
There's also a female-oriented version -- Soine Prime offers (non-sexual) time with boys for heartbroken women.
Soine-ya, 3F, KN Building, 2-11 Akihabara, Sakuma-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; +81 3 5829 6274; soineya.net
3. Divorce Hotel, The Hague, the Netherlands
The Hague is the best place in the world for a divorce, according to Jim Halfens, CEO of Divorce Hotel.
Divorce Hotel is a service that gives couples looking to split a place to sort the paperwork quickly and comfortably.
"We only work with hotels which meet our criteria: boutique hotels with minimum of four stars," says Halfens. "Hotels where people feel at home and possibilities outside the hotels are important, as well."
The Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague is Halfens' favorite. It's a wonderful location for shopping, popular beaches and good food, he says.
Proof that Divorce Hotel can help you avoid any Hollywood-esque hysterics, one soon-to-be-divorced couple asked to sleep in the same room during the divorce procedure.
"They started together and they wanted to end it together," says Halfens.
4. Any nightclub, Ibiza, Spain
You can replace the misery of a breakup with the despair of a hangover in Ibiza -- one of the best nightlife destinations in the world.
"Nowhere else have I seen a stripper rock a saxophone solo hanging from the ceiling naked, or the blast of a wind tunnel built into a dance floor, or parade floats and foam dropped from the ceiling like it's the Fourth of July indoors," said our "nightlife connoisseur" in this article about the world's best party cities.
Hot party-goers, great music, absurd scenes and long party hours will help you through those sleepless nights.
It's just better to be single here.
5. Wellness and meditation retreats, Thailand/India
Pristine beaches, tranquility and mediation retreats can offer some remedy for doleful souls.
Kamalaya Wellness Retreat and Holistic Spa is tucked away in the southeastern Thai island of Koh Samui.
Various wellness programs -- detox, stress and burnout, yoga, sleep enhancement -- are provided among palm trees and boulders, a perfect tonic for pent up bitterness.
More chronic sufferers of lost love could opt for the Global Vipassana Pagoda, a massive dome-shaped meditation hall on the outskirts of Mumbai that can house more than 8,000 people.
Vipassana is an ancient Buddhist way of meditation for self-awakening. A course usually runs for 10 days and participants meditate 10 hours per day.
The best part: all that silence means no need to argue with the ex.
Kamalaya Wellness Retreat and Holistic Spa, 102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Road, Na-Muang Koh Samui, Suratthani; +66 (0) 77 429 800; three-night personal yoga synergy and meditation retreats from THB 54,600 (US$1,833); www.kamalaya.com
Global Vipassana Pagoda, next to Esselworld, Gorai Village, Borivali (West), Mumbai; +91 22 3374 7501; free (by donation only); www.globalpagoda.org
These are but a few suggestions. What are you tips, recommendations or even experiences of travel breakups?
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By Hiufu Wong