“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway was a great traveler, but I wonder if his advice above is sound. Didn’t he go all over the place with his wives, taking them on African safaris, ski trips in the Italian Alps, fishing off the coast of Cuba? And didn’t each of those relationships end soon afterwards? His first wife, Hadley, left him in Paris. Mary Gellhorn left him after traveling to the Himalayas.
Travel may conjure up images of sipping absinthe on The Left Bank or rug-diving in Marrakesh, but if I read Hemingway’s marital chronology correctly, it’s also a great way to dump someone.
I had a friend who did this. Whenever a relationship was fading, he’d say, “Let’s go to Santorini!” They never made it past the stopover in Rome.
There are tons of scooters only yards away. Just kick over your lover’s chair and you’re free.
As romantic as travel may seem, imagine your lover is someone you’d like to throw under a motor scooter just off Champs-Élysées. There are tons of scooters only yards away. Just kick over your lover’s chair and you’re free.
Parisians do it all the time — sometimes twice in one day.
Not that you have to kill someone to break up. Travel affords you all kinds of non-violent ways to dump a lover. Take The Louvre, for instance. Over 8 million people go there each year. Six million do it specifically to see the Mona Lisa. That means you’ll be standing, like, twenty rows deep.
Even from a distance, you’ll notice the Mona Lisa looks the same as she does on the t-shirts sold outside. Many lovers break up over this fact. Just as many wet themselves waiting for the washroom. People stand twenty rows deep there, too. Soil yourself and the relationship will be over right there.
Dumping someone at Starbucks places the entire responsibility on you. At least in Giza, you can blame the heat and the Pyramids themselves.
If you really hate your lover, the greatest “dumping ground” is Egypt. Few relationships survive a trip to the Pyramids. Cairo is hot, Giza even hotter. One consolation? You won’t be standing twenty rows deep waiting for the washroom. There are no washrooms. It’s just flat desert. Bedouins do it behind their camels. Camels do it behind Bedouins.
But why, you ask, spend all that money going to some exotic place? What’s wrong with dumping someone at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks?
That’s just crazy talk. Dumping someone at Starbucks places the entire responsibility on you. At least in Giza, you can blame the heat and the Pyramids themselves. They’re a pile of hot rocks. If anyone’s responsible for couples splitting up, it’s the Egyptians.
Even couples in highly successful marriages try to kill each other in airports. We mistake them for terrorists wearing Hawaiian shirts.
Being a traveller means you don’t have to break up at all. The location does it for you. If it’s not the city or the heat or the water, it’s the airports. No airport in the world has ever enhanced a relationship.
Even couples in highly successful marriages try to kill each other in airports. We mistake them for terrorists wearing Hawaiian shirts. They’re very angry people. The only reason they haven’t killed each other sooner is they’re too busy trying to find the right gate or the washroom.
Travel also brings out a great deal of disenchantment. People are always talking about their “wonderful” vacations. The scenery was magnificent. The food was delicious. The music was enlivening. Look at those smiles, those tans, that marguerita.
If they got past the Left Bank, it was only because they saw a Golden Arches from the Eiffel Tower.
It’s enough to fill anyone with expectation. If the Joneses next door had a marvellous time in Paris, why can’t we?
Well, the Joneses never got further than the 8th arrondissement in Paris. They ate, they took pictures, they napped. If they got past the Left Bank, it was only because they saw a Golden Arches from the Eiffel Tower.
In other words, your partner, or girlfriend or boyfriend is already deceived. Anything is going to be a disappointment. Since none of us handles disappointment well, you can plan on a lot of anger and resentment.
Your job is to let the anger and resentment fester and grow. Say something like, “Those Joneses, huh? I’ll bet they wet themselves at the Louvre. Funny they never thought to mention that.”
Well, no they probably didn’t. But they’re thousands of miles away. What’s the point of calling, telling them they’re lying bastards? No, the only person handy — and worth blaming — is you. You suggested this nightmare.
So you head for the airport, stand in line for five hours, then taxi on the runway for 70 minutes. No relationship can survive that — even pilots dump their lovers.
So, okay, next thing you do is blame everything on the surroundings. You didn’t make Giza hot, or arrange to have ten Bedouins looking at you while you urinated behind a camel.
You can safely say your lover is being highly irrational. So you head for the airport, stand in line for five hours, then taxi on the runway for 70 minutes. No relationship can survive that — even pilots dump their lovers.
Once back home, all that’s left is to say goodbye, reminding each other that you got to see some great landmarks, not to mention relieving yourselves behind the Pyramid of Khufu. I’m surprised more people haven’t dumped their lovers this way — urinated behind the Pyramid of Khufu.
In closing, be prepared for pictures to arrive in the mail, showing beautiful landmarks, charming restaurants, and probably your face all scratched out. Travel may be great for dumping someone, but that sort of thing gets around. Eventually, your partner will meet others who got dumped — or dumped someone — in a similar fashion. Nobody likes being a chump, even if they did get to see some great stuff.
Take it in the spirit it’s offered, meaning with complete malice. Send brochures, saying “Let’s do this again sometime.” You’ll get back even nastier notes, and more pictures with your face scratched out.
The bladder wants what the bladder wants. So do camels — which is to inflict serious injury.
Eventually, you’ll both realize you were never meant for each other, and no camel got angry when you urinated behind it.
Imagine if the camel had gotten nasty, possibly crippling you. You might still be with the person you wanted to dump. They stayed with you, nursing your injury, saying it wasn’t your fault. The bladder wants what the bladder wants. So do camels — which is to inflict serious injury.
Maybe the best advice is to ignore Egypt altogether. Stick to Paris or maybe Malaga. Beautiful scenery — and not a lot of camels. You’re trying to dump someone, not take the chance it’ll actually improve your relationship.
Come to think of it, stick to places like Greenland. It might be the least romantic place on Earth. You’ll probably only last a few hours before your partner says, “Why the hell did you bring me here?!”
Yeah, go to Greenland. It’s the perfect place to dump someone.
Robert Cormack is a novelist, blogger, humorist and children’s book author. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Suba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores (now in paperback). Check out Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Press for more details.