A woman left heartbroken at the altar on her wedding day quit her job to travel the world solo. She has since been offered a book deal and is on the way to realizing her childhood dream of being a published author.
Katy Colins, 30, didn’t know what kind of plans life had for her when she was left standing alone by her long-term boyfriend on the day of their wedding. She decided to quit her job, sell her house and buy a one-way ticket to southeast Asia.
Colins, a former public relations person for Manchester Airport, sold her house and “anything that wouldn’t fit into a large backpack” prior to her flight to Asia. For the next few months, Colins, originally from Formby, England, backpacked through Thailand, India and Nepal. She told the Daily Mail that friends and family were worried about her:
“Everyone did think I was a little mad, especially as I’d never travelled anywhere by myself before, but it just felt right.”
“I needed the time away from everything and everyone I knew to find myself, but it wasn’t as cheesy as that.”
As an English and journalism graduate of Salford University, Colins had an affinity for writing and began documenting her travels in a blog titled “Not Wed or Dead.” Though it was mainly intended to keep her family and close friends updated during her journey, the blog drew more and more readers. She told the Daily Mail:
“People who weren’t related to me started reading my blog and sending me emails, telling me how brave I was to quit it all and go.”
“I received messages from other newly-single men and women who said they read my blog as an inspiration — that just because you’ve been dumped it doesn’t mean you have to listen to bad power anthems and devour ice cream!”
Colin’s writing became a source of inspiration for others who can relate and find themselves in similar situations. She added that a breakup or the end of a relationship is an opportunity to make a positive change in life:
“You can use this as a catalyst for something much bigger and better.”
As she continued on exploring southeast Asia and India, Colins began writing more and more.
“I started writing a few chapters, not fully aware that they would be the start of a novel, but mostly as a way to clear my head.”
“Although I was experiencing things that I would never have imagined seeing, such as the Taj Mahal and trekking through the Himalayas, I was still working through the feelings that I wouldn’t be making wedding scrapbooks or be living the married life — well not just yet at least.
“I began to think ‘what if you were given a second chance to find yourself?’”
After Asia, Colins made her way to South America where she backpacked for six months before moving to France to teach English for two years. The former Southport College graduate was offered a three-book deal with Carina UK, a subsidiary of world-renowned publishing house Harper Collins.
Her first novel of the series is called “The Lonely Hearts Travel Club, Destination Thailand.” The book has been referred to as the “Bridget Jones goes backpacking” story. Colins received news of the book deal while living in a small fishing town in northern France. She recalled to the Daily Mail:
“Ironically, an editor called me on what would have been our third wedding anniversary. It is poignant to think how far I’d come through hard work being brave and wanting to live the biggest life I could.”
Thinking back on the heartbreak on the day of her wedding, Colins said it was a blessing in disguise. She told the Daily Mail:
“His decision, although devastating at the time, was the wake-up call I needed. I had a good job, a lovely house and lived a comfortable lifestyle, but it lacked adventure.
“That is something I hoped traveling halfway around the world on my own would give me, and luckily it paid off.
“I have climbed an active volcano in Chile, slept in a Thai jungle, got covered in Holi powder in India, skydived in France and even taken a flight past Mount Everest.”
Being left at the altar may have been the best thing that ever happened to her.