Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

A book deal and 30 countries before 30: how this woman's broken engagement changed her life for the better

backpacker.PNG

Four years ago, Katy Collins was, in her words, heartbroken and disillusioned after her husband-to-be called off their wedding just a month before they were meant to be exchanging vows.

But ramping up the old ‘Look how much fun I'm having!’ Facebook pictures, she decided to sell nearly everything she owned to go and “live the biggest life I could” by hitting the backpacker trail in countries such as Thailand, Dubai, India and Brazil.

And now the 30-year-old has landed a three-book publishing deal.

Collins, from Formby but now living in France, confessed everyone thought she was “mad” when she sold her house and car to jet off, especially as she'd never travelled solo before, but told Manchester Evening News, “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.”

Blogging along the way to keep family and friends updated, her experiences soon attracted a following as she visited 30 countries before the age of 30. Looking back, she now says splitting from her fiancé was the best thing that could have happened to her.

“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 […]

“[Now] I have climbed an active volcano in Chile, slept in a Thai jungle, got covered in Holi paint in India, skydived in France, and even taken a flight past Mount Everest. I've experienced things that I would never have dreamed possible but the highlight is being able to call myself a writer. Nothing compares to that.”

Collins is now penning The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series, loosely based on her own experiences. The first book is out this month, and she revealed during the interview that the date she found out she'd got a deal was a reminder of how different her life is now.

“Ironically an editor called me on what would have been our third wedding anniversary,” she explained. “It is poignant to think how far I’d come through hard work, being brave and wanting to live the biggest life I could.”

She says on her blog: “Getting dumped ain’t pretty and even worse is being a jilted bride a month before the big day. But every cloud has a silver lining and I hope I am proof that from a crappy situation good and amazing things can still happen.”

Follow her on Instagram and find her blog, Not Wed or Dead, here.

Related

12224091_211391162525982_303979219_n(1).jpg

We speak to the model who ran a 'realistic' Instagram account

ThinkstockPhotos-488392916.jpg

Jilted bride's family donates £22k wedding feast to homeless

rexfeatures_5195137a.jpg

Airbnb reveals the best neighbourhoods in the world

coddington.JPG

This fashion editor reveals what she really thinks about Instagram

cycling.jpg

Six women who've traded the 9-5 office haul for a life less ordinary

wedding.jpg

Jilted bride holds ceremonial 'trash the dress' fest

job-love.jpg

How to tell the difference between a job you like and a job you love

Liverpool.jpg

Revealed: the friendliest and most attractive cities in the UK

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 15.22.19.png

Meet the woman Bear Grylls turns to for advice on staying alive

Comments

More

This magical treehouse is the most popular Airbnb listing ever

Featuring a bed under the stars and swinging bridges bathed in fairy lights

by Anna Brech
20 Jul 2017

Three flying secrets that airlines don't want you to know about

“We don't tell you that we're flying this plane half-awake because we don't want to scare you”

by Anna Brech
19 Jul 2017

Mermaid wannabes, you need to visit this incredible underwater winery

Life is the bubbles under the sea…

by Megan Murray
18 Jul 2017

Explore Europe's unsung wine region in the Douro Valley

Stylist jets to Portugal to experience a tranquil spa hotel in the unspoilt region of the Douro Valley

by Lucy Foster
18 Jul 2017

These fantastic UNESCO heritage sites are right on your doorstep

How many have you visited?

by Jasmine Andersson
13 Jul 2017

TfL drops the term “ladies and gentleman” in gender-neutral move

“This is so awesome and about time.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
13 Jul 2017

Scared of flying? This trick curbs your take-off and turbulence fears

Try it to dial your anxiety down a notch

by Anna Brech
13 Jul 2017

Tinder sends near-miss couple on epic date to Hawaii

“It's time you got together IRL”

by Anna Brech
13 Jul 2017

Embrace Stockholm Syndrome

Stylist discovers Sweden's capital is a city to savour for distinctive culture

by Amelia Trevette
11 Jul 2017

There's a new UNESCO World Heritage site – but women are banned

So we won’t be visiting this Japanese island any time soon

by Nicola Colyer
10 Jul 2017