It was supposed to be every writer’s dream when a Hollywood film producer bought the option to adapt my memoir for the big screen. The book was a tell-all about how I met my partner – a light-hearted love story with a happy ending.

“I’m thinking Anne Hathaway should play you,” said the producer on a call from Beverly Hills. “She can blend humour and sincerity well. And maybe Owen Wilson for your other half. Who do you want to play you?”

“Ummm…” I stalled, trying to stay cool in the face of the most surreal question I’d ever been asked. This dinner party conversation starter was now an actual question being asked of me in real life – and at the worst possible time.

My mind was spinning. Love with a Chance of Drowning was due to publish in three months time but the love itself was drowning.




“Don’t go breaking up now,” the director said with a nervous laugh, intuiting my discomfort. “We’ll need you both for publicity.”
I pictured the two of us on Letterman, trying to formulate witty comebacks in front of an audience – brows stitched, skin clammy with pretence.

“We won’t,” I squeaked, and I nervous laughed right back at him.

We were the kind of couple you might love to hate on the internet. Young, fit and free of commitments, my blog pictured us in exotic locations with all the standard backdrops of romantic adventure: mountain peaks and blue seas, curved palms and four feet intertwined in the womb of a hammock.

Over the course of nine years together, we’d explored the world in thrilling ways. He was an adventurer with a deep connection to the world. I was a homebody with a deep connection to family, but I embraced his way of life.

He taught me how to feel the fear and do it anyway, how to leap and build wings on the way down, how to YOLO.

We rode an SR400 motorbike through Thailand, hiked up mountains and sailed a boat across the Pacific on a two-year voyage that became the subject for my first book. Though we’d survived actual storms in actual boats, we’d never been faced with any major metaphorical ones.

And then the bad news came.

First, it came in a premonition. We were on a road trip through New Zealand at the time and my feet were up on the dashboard, my hair a tangle of sun-bleached tendrils from the last two months of travelling.

The road was narrow and windy, tracing the mountains of the south island. Our only worry was the number of times we had to stop the car to take photos of gorgeous views.

This is the last time everything will be okay, came a random thought as I slid my feet down off the dash. Everything is about to change.

“Did you hear about dad yet?” read a text message from my sister only days later. My skin prickled. I called her and got a rundown of the doctor’s report.





End stage.

This is the last time everything will be okay.

Everything changed. We were grounded at home with my family, watching the great battle between cancer and chemotherapy. Cancer was slowly winning. My dad was slowly disappearing. We were all waiting. Waiting for death to arrive.

I’d expected, of course, that having a parent die would be hard, but what I didn’t anticipate was that the stress of it would bring challenges to the relationship far more difficult than kick-starting a cold SR400 engine in a remote Thai village or navigating a sailboat across the world’s largest ocean: depression, helplessness, conflict, confusion, and, worst of all for my itchy-footed life partner, the need to cancel all travels and batten the hatches.

Death is the opposite of adventure. Adventure is expansive and inspiring, while death is bleak and ugly and weird smelling. You can’t put a yellow lens flare behind dying, can’t upload it to Instagram with a cursive inspirational meme overlay.

If YOLO is your life philosophy, the darker aspects of life can feel like wasted time. YOLO is adventure and beauty, not sadness and darkness and waiting.

“I can’t keep waiting,” said Owen Wilson one day. “I need to live my life.”

I drove him to the airport and that was that.

A lot of people have had their hearts broken in the history of forever, so you know the spiel. Picture a montage of open-mouthed crying, tissue mountains, suns rising and setting to the same pair of mismatched pyjamas… you get the gist.

This was just like any other breakup, really, only it happened during the exact period of my life that the cover of my first book was being advertised on enormous back-lit billboards in airport lounges and Cosmopolitan magazine was calling with interview questions like, “So what’s next for you two lovers?”

It was awkward to say the least.

At times of great stress, we flick over into survival mode, and inside that realm we find spectacular traits we never knew we possessed. Like, in my case, bullshit artistry.

“So what’s next for you two lovers?”

Truth: Splitting assets.

Bullshit artistry: “Oh, we’re still deciding!”

“Do you have any idea of what your next adventure might be?”

Truth: Bed. Pyjamas. Six to twelve months spent nurturing rock-bottom grief.

Bullshit artistry: “The world is full of incredible surprises – it can be so difficult to work out what to do!”

It was difficult to work out what to do; there are no guidebooks for surviving such predicaments. Desperate for advice of any kind, I wanted to Google-search Ten Ways to Recover from a Painful Breakup when You’re Awkwardly Connected to your Ex by a Memoir About your Relationship that Will Soon be Adapted into a Movie, Possibly Starring Anne Hathaway and Owen Wilson and, Oh, Your Dad just Died. 

Unfortunately, there was nothing.

Even my therapist laughed when I explained my situation to him during our first session. “Wow, ha, ha, that’s… Oh, boy, ha, ha, I’m so sorry, but that’s really… Oh, gee, wow, eh-hem! Excuse me. That must be very hard for you.”

His amused reaction was to be expected: the whole situation was kind of funny. I’d try to laugh about it too sometimes, only whenever I opened my mouth to do so, the noise that came out sounded a lot more like wet, guttural weeping.

The trouble with trying to describe the reasons behind a breakup to anyone is that there’s rarely a clean summary of events. We try to make it clean, though – we craft our elevator pitches and, of course, they always turn out to be biased towards our own martyrdom.

What you end up when love shatters is a crime scene with two victims and no villains, no leads for the detectives to follow to a clean and logical answer.

I wasn’t going to try to make that mess public.

I had my reasons.

He had his.

But he was gone now, scuba diving on a faraway island and uploading sunsets to social media, while I sat alone trying to tackle the uniquely unfortunate situation of incoming fan mail:

Dear Torre,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I cried like a baby at the end of your book. I’m a gay man living in New York and you’ve given me hope for my own relationship. You’ve inspired me so much. We’ve decided to go travelling together!


What could I say?

Dear Tom,

Actually, our love broke apart like the Titanic, splitting in two and sinking into freezing waters while violins played and people screamed and fought over who gets a seat in the life raft.

I’m sorry.


What cruel person would say this to someone heady with love endorphins? Not me. I wasn’t going to be the bearer of the truth. I’d given people hope and I couldn’t just go taking that away. It would be like offering someone a beautifully wrapped present and inviting him to open it, only to reveal that inside the box is your balled fist poised to sucker punch his stomach.

Surprise! Here’s a gift of gut pain!

As a memoirist, my job was to turn hurt into wisdom, but trying to craft life lessons from these circumstances was like trying to bake a cake out of horseshit.

I started writing a thousand different blog posts to explain the situation to my readers, but they always turned out either excruciatingly self-pitying when I told the truth, or phoney and condescending when I pretended to be okay.

I wasn’t okay. My hair was falling out from stress. I had commitments, though. Book promotion commitments.

And so I put on my best smile and my best outfit, combed hair over the bald spots, and showed up to signings, interviews and library talks, crossing all fingers and toes that nobody would ask me any questions about the relationship.

“Are you two going to get married?” asked a girl in the audience at a library reading.

I eyed the door, contemplating a swift moonwalk towards the exit. The door was so close. So close. 

I looked back at the little girl. God, she was so tiny and sincere. What was she? Seven? Eight years old?

Truth: No, the relationship is over. 

Bullshit artistry: “Oh, well, weddings are expensive and I guess I’ve always felt I’d rather use that money to explore or invest or learn French or whatever. And anyway, a lot of women don’t get married these days because there is no longer an economic incentive now that we’re financially independent, and genuine love can be enjoyed without a certificate issued by a corrupt institution of questionable religious origins that ostracizes people on the basis of their sexual orientation and…”


Or something along those lines; I can’t remember, because, while my body remained upright for those months of promotion – talking, smiling, gesticulating in all the correct places – my consciousness was plummeting towards the ground like a wingless plane.

I dappled in some truth telling, but it didn’t go down well. Once time I was at the event of another author when a woman in the audience recognized me. “I loved your book!” she gushed. “Are you two still together?”

“No.” I confessed. “Unfortunately we broke up.”

She gasped all the breathing air right out of the room. I swear paper fluttered off tabletops, straight towards her monumental intake of shock. Her eyes shot open and her hands flung up over her mouth as she mumbled, “I’m sorry” at least five times before backing out the door.

I fought the urge to call out, “And my dad is dead too!” because it’s hard to stop the truth once it starts coming out. “And I have writers’ block and no remaining sense of self-worth!”

Lucky for us both, she was quick footed.

My editor suggested it might be cathartic (and great for publicity!) to blog all the juicy details of the breakup while starting work on a tell-all sequel. A friend proposed a fitting title: Hate with a Chance of Screw You, but I felt that story perhaps packed a little too much angry, self-pitying angst in it for an eight-year old or a gay romantic from New York or everyone in the whole world for that matter.

Besides, what would the narrative arc be? There was no plot to extract from a life of lying in bed all day with the curtains drawn, no happy ending in my new vocation of playing Candy Crush Saga on the same level for months while listening to Lolita on audiobook, on repeat, to ensure I would never forget how truly disturbing love can be.

If this were the end of a movie, we would now be in the third and final act, which is the part where the protagonist has an epiphany that makes all the toil of the first two acts worth more than the sum of its trouble.

There would be a panning shot of Anne Hathaway captured with a drone, rising higher and higher above her head until she’s but a spec in a crowded street, putting the smallness of her being into perspective. A cute indie acoustic tune would make our hearts feel snug as the credits began rolling.

But the trouble is, as Jeff Probst says, I got nothin’ for ya.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not a tragedy. As life went on, I stopped making wet, guttural weeping sounds when I tried to laugh; I deleted Candy Crush Saga from my phone and moved on from Lolita, got up out of bed, travelled solo for a while…

I grew up a bit. I made some beautiful new friends, and met a gorgeous man – a homebody – who makes me feel so cosy, accepted and loved.

wrote a new book that is, in part, a belated apology to that gay man in New York and that little girl in the library – a kind of soothing aftercare for all that accidental gut punching. David Letterman’s people never called, because the film didn’t get off the ground before the option expired, to my great relief.

But I still look back on that time in my life and think: Huh?

And also: Ouch.

And sometimes: Ugh, that sucked so badly.

And that’s okay.

Over the last three years, I’ve stopped believing that happy endings are something to strive for. Our culture puts an unhealthy amount of emphasis on optimism and positive thinking, while the negative (but necessary) dimensions of being a human – depression, illness, struggle – get locked away in a cupboard, because you can’t put an inspirational meme overlay on it.

These days I try to be a realist. Realists don’t patronize. They don’t offer platitudes to make you think everything is going to be okay. They don’t have an agenda to manipulate every tale into one with a happy ending. Realists are honest, even when honesty is bleak, ugly and a little bit smelly.

We often mistake realists for pessimists, because their world view isn’t always sunny. But it takes courage to be truthful. It takes courage to stare out at the void and say I dunno and be okay with the deep, perplexing uncertainty of not knowing.

A realist will tell you that sometimes there might not be a silver lining to extract out of painful events. Sometimes you Google Ten Ways to Recover from a Painful Breakup when You’re Awkwardly Connected to your Ex by a Memoir…  and get no search results, and that kind of sucks.

Sometimes life can hurt you and all you have to show for it is a weird scar, and you’re confused about what the lesson is, or even if there is a lesson at all – or if, perhaps, we’re just a cluster of ridiculous talking monkeys swirling on a blue ball in empty and meaningless nothingness.

I don’t know about you, but to me that feels like a relief. So long as I’m not working my brain to spin every story into a positive, to make it seem like everything is okay, or predestined, or somehow part of a bigger plot – I can just be with what is so.

And from that place of undecorated truth, I can fall, with the full heft of my physical and emotional energy, into rightnowness.

And I tell you something: rightnowness is rather magnificent.

Banner illustration by Alice Carroll

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134 Response Comments

  • Angela M  July 17, 2017 at 10:45 am

    This was a sad but mostly very funny read, Torre. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 1:59 am

      Glad you enjoyed it, Angela.

  • Melissa  July 17, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Wow, it was so brave of you to put this out there for anyone and everyone to read. I’m so sorry about your dear dad and the events that followed. Thank you for sharing this part of the story with us in such a candid and neutral-sided way. I’m sure it can’t have been an easy thing to do, but it’s a story that deserves to be told because the truth is you can never really know what life might throw at you. Anyway, I’m really happy to read that you’re enjoying rightnowness (that’s the ultimate goal, right?) and I can’t wait until your new book comes out!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:00 am

      Thanks so much for your support, Melissa. It means a lot to me!

  • Katie  July 17, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Reason, season, lifetime, Torre. I’ve been getting ready to make an overseas move and recently donated pounds and pounds of books. Yours, however, I kept. And I remember holding it in my hands and thinking, “They’re definitely not still together.” Why? Because your ex was clearly a season kind of person. Someone to enjoy in the moment, but, thanks to your honest way of writing (I think you gave away more than you know), the kind of partner you could almost assume wouldn’t cut it for the cruel life experiences like the one you experienced shortly after publication.

    I’m sorry about the loss of your father. I’m sorry you had to compound that with the loss of a long-term relationship and a unique public exposure. That must have been awful. But I’m happy for you that you seem to have come out the other side with renewed perspective, a new (maybe lifetime?) kind of love, and especially — selfishly — a new book. Just pre-ordered!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Katie, where was your sharp intuition in my life ten years ago?! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. It was indeed awful but I’m strangely grateful now, because it all lead to a growing experience that I’d never want to give back. Good luck with your big move!

    • Amy  August 17, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      What Katie said. I loved, loved, loved your book – and have told countless people about it. And, like Katie, I don’t keep things – but I’ve kept your book!

      I, too, figured the relationship wouldn’t last. There was just something not quite…permanent. But what a grand adventure! And thank you for your willingness to share with us the truth, your continued journey, and yet more adventures (homebody though they may be) to come. I look forward to the next book, and more from your blog!

  • Amanda  July 17, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Torre, I love your writing 🙂 Recently, I was in the same situation – except that my boyfriend was the one who lost his mom for cancer after two years of battle. And you know what they say – when someone has cancer, the whole family gets cancer. So, it was three painful years and I thought we would break up. I was almost saying “I need to live my life” and gone. But I stayed and do not regret. I’m glad you are in a new relationship and happy. Can’t wait for your new book!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:04 am

      Well done for sticking through it, Amanda. It’s such an intense time; so confusing and difficult for everyone involved. Nobody is at their best!

  • James Michael Dorsey  July 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    A beautifully written baring of the soul. While I have not shared your losses, I have been paralyzed with writers bloc for months. Believe it or not, after reading your story I began a first draft for the first time this year. Knowing you for two evenings was a gift and I am honored to be in the same profession.

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:45 am

      That is GREAT, James! Your writing is exceptional – definitely get rid of those nasty blocks. It was a gift for me to meet you too. Truly.

  • Katie  July 17, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Damn, that really does suck bad. But I am so glad you are back, have found a wonderful new man, and I can’t wait to read your new book when it’s out! I also went through a sucky break up a year and a half ago from my fiance who I had also been with for nine years. I was the one that left, I am the traveler, but it was still so hard and I still miss him. I have also found a wonderful new man who I just got engaged to but everything isn’t perfect, I am still getting over my ex, and I’m still dealing with a lot of guilt over how things went down. But I am mostly happy and I know I am with someone now that is better suited to me and wants the same kind of lifestyle. But still, it’s hard. I’m so sorry about your Dad – I couldn’t imagine dealing with that at the same time. This made me laugh out loud and it made me cry all in a 5 minute period – you are an incredible writer. Welcome back 🙂

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:31 am

      Katie – this does sound like a hard situation. But what I realised from the breakup is, no amount of fighting for each other to be different was ever going to make either of us different. You can’t talk someone out of who they are. You might’ve had some wonderful things with your ex, but if you’re incompatible of a values level (which it sounds like you were), then there’s nothing that can be done. I hope you can find a way to overcome the guilt and lingering feelings. Congratulations on the new engagement! And thank you for your lovely words.

      • Katie  July 18, 2017 at 7:35 am

        Thanks Torre, you are absolutely right and it always helps to hear it from someone else. It all makes us stronger

  • Carmel  July 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    When you are so connected to someone, that premonition can be so overwhelmingly strong. I’ve had it before, too, and it sucks. I’m sorry about your dad. It must be hard. It sounded like you were close.

    I really love this post for so many reasons, but mostly because of your realization that there are no happy endings. Life always moves on, so maybe there are happy endings to certain stories, but then the next story comes along and can be awesomely tragic and harsh.

    I’m happy to see you back in the world of writing.

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:26 am

      Exactly. There are no endings. Just shit coming and going and coming and going and…

  • Teresa  July 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    This was fabulous-funny, heartbreaking, inspirational and just dead on. You’ve given a fellow memoirist much to think about. I just wanted to say “Brava!” before even contemplating further.

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:25 am

      Thank you Teresa!

  • Heather  July 17, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    So. Mr Traveler guy left you while you were with your dying father.

    Honey. You dodged a bullet.

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:25 am

      It took me nine years and I’m still picking shrapnel out – but sure, I’ll take that compliment!

  • Mikeachim  July 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Rightnowness is where all the fun is, and where stuff gets made.

    Backthenness is great for Art and stuff, but I really wouldn’t like to live there.

    Welcome back. There was a You-shaped hole in blogging. Thanks for filling it.

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:23 am

      Thanks, Mike. I would love to see that hole outlined in chalk, like a murder scene.

  • Natalie Sisson  July 18, 2017 at 1:26 am

    I think it’s great you did wait so long to write this post because we’re all richer for your truth, a truth that is devoid of any harsh emotions that might have swayed your true feelings at the time. So you’re telling it how it is, with hindsight and insight we can all learn from. It’s also very brave and beautiful

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:22 am

      Thank you, Natalie. I think you’re right: writing this back then would’ve been some ugly stuff. I needed to find peace with it all first.

  • Katherine Jenkins  July 18, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Hi Torre, well I can relate!!! And we have a lot in common!!! First, we are both Seal Press authors, yay! And Second, my marriage fell apart just as my book Lessons from the Monk I Married came out in China!!!! They were reading my story as if it had just happened and I was signing divorce papers! Crazy ????…I’ll be in Australia ???????? in March…would love to connect.

    • Torre DeRoche  July 18, 2017 at 5:21 am

      Katherine! I had no idea that you were with Seal and no idea about your divorce. I’m sorry to hear that, but boy do we have some stuff in common. March sounds great – I would LOVE to see you.

  • Kristine  July 18, 2017 at 5:32 am

    This is the most real piece of writing I’ve read in a while. Thanks you for sharing such a painful period of your life with candor interlaced with humour. I can’t wait for your next book to come out especially since I walked the Camino last year I’m drawn to anything pilgrimage related. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:05 am

      My absolute pleasure. Thanks for your comment!

  • Dee  July 18, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Torre- I always wondered what happened with you guys – so sorry because you are both great people! Your writing keeps getting better because it’s so authentic and your words are really art!! Sounds like s**t (aka life) just happened to you. I bought my father the book ” Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff” right before he died – guess it’s not ALL small stuff. But then you had a lot of great experiences that made for a terrific book and then moved on to the next part of your life that I’m sure will produce more great books. You can’t go backwards and you can’t stand still, so go forward and enjoy your journey!! Be sure to let me know if you ever come to SF on your book tours – would love to see you again!!

    • Dee  July 18, 2017 at 7:57 am

      P.S. I still say Maggie Gyllenhal and Ryan Gosling!!

      • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:06 am

        Thanks so much for your words, Dee. It was always a pleasure to go and visit you and I missed that after we broke up. I would love to see you again too.

  • Kim D  July 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Torre, when I read your book. The inspiration I received from it was in you, not the relationship. What you accomplished is a big scary thing to most people and definitely me. I have been living aboard and sailing for 17 years. Yes, it initially was my husbands idea, but I fell in love with it and wouldn’t want to live any other way. When I read the book, I knew Ivan was never going to be able to live the life on land that you truly wanted, but he gave you the opportunity to show yourself and now the world, that “You Rock”. What saddened me when I read about the new book, which I already pre-ordered, was that your dad passed. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to lose a parent, but I know eventually it’ll come and cry when I think about it. What makes me very happy is that your dad got to see and experience a little bit of your sailing adventure with you. Without Ivan, that would have never happened. You will have that memory always and there is no doubt you made him very proud. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m happy to hear that you are in a good place now.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:09 am

      This was such a lovely comment, Kim. It made me teary to read. It’s been difficult sharing my life publicly with all of this going on, but the plus side is that people I’ve never met, like you, see into the heart of it all and that makes me feel bonded to people I’ve never met. And that makes it worth it. Thank you. x

  • Candice  July 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Torre, you remain as funny, loveable, delightful, smart, and sharp as ever…despite all that pain. I’m so sorry for your loss(es). But man alive, I am ever so grateful for your ability to put those experiences into beautiful words.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:09 am

      Thank you, Candice. That means a lot to me!

  • Wanda St.Hilaire  July 18, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Torre, what a story. I recall when we were in the same writer’s group and I watched with great interest as your book was birthed. Having published a travel memoir romantic in theme a couple of years earlier, I was stunned when your book instantly disappeared off of Amazon, only to discover it had been picked up big time in whirl of publishers – and a movie deal.

    From the outside, it was a writer’s dream come true. I wrote of your story, along with a glowing review, on my blog in deep admiration.

    Life certainly does have a way with us and my admiration grows, yet again, for your ability to write so engagingly about such a bizarre and heartbreaking set of circumstances. I am happy to hear that after all, your rightnowness is rather magnificent. I wish you the best of luck on the new book!

    Fellow author and fan,

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:14 am

      You’ve always been a great support, Wanda. Thank you so much for your comment. I hope your writing is going well!

  • Laura  July 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I hear you!! Well said. Your a good writer. I’ll get these books !!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:18 am


  • Tilly  July 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you so much. Lost my mother last Sept. Dhe was our rock and now leaves us rudderless in an expansive ocean. I have ended my not-so-perfect marriage of 12 years and have mastered the art of guttural, wearing sounds. I have hope for the future, to seek the adventure that I need, to make sense of if all.
    Not ready to delete Candy crush yet but you give me hope.
    Ps have ordered your book do I can ‘adventure’ from my curtained room.
    Thank you

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:22 am

      Oh Tilly, I’m so sorry to hear this. Candy Crush is excellent for these moments in time; those colourful rows feel so satisfying when nothing much else does. I wish you strength for this time. Just remember that this is a period of metamorphosis. You are losing your old self, yes, but you’ll become someone new in time. This won’t be forever, as much as it may feel that way now. xx

  • Wynne  July 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I read your book a couple of years ago and loved it! I’m so sorry you experienced the deep pain of losing your father, as well as that of losing your partner of so long. But I am heartened for you that you met someone new and are currently doing well. I look forward to your next book!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:23 am

      Thanks for your message and sentiments, Wynne. x

  • Pippa  July 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I read a line of a poem once that helps me feel less empty: “it’s the having not the keeping that is the treasure”. Your book and blog make my life just that bit better because you share some of the treasures you have. I’m greedy for more!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:24 am

      Thank you, Pippa! I agree – it is the having and not the keeping. I’ve found a lot of solace in just letting wonderful things roll through me and giving up the need to hold on and hoard. x

  • Suzanne Fluht  July 19, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Having several decades of life beyond you, I can confirm what you’ve learned. Sh*t happens, and sometimes the small stuff is actually big stuff having the nerve to masquerade as small stuff. Several years ago I presided over my father’s death, and he did not go quietly into that good night. However, at almost 85, his death was sad, but not tragic. OTOH, my 50 year old brother-in-law’s sudden death from a heart attack in 2014 was a gut punch, startling partly because it was so out of order. He was the baby of the family, a marathon runner, 10 years younger than my husband, his brother. My brother-in-law’s untimely passing was a carpe diem wake up call. Woody Allen had it (but nothing else) right. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”. It sounds as though you’ve landed (or climbed out) back on your feet. Yay for that because I look forward to reading more of your writing. Carpe diem, Baby.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:25 am

      It sounds like you’ve been through quite a lot of loss, Suzanne. I’m sorry to hear it. I am willing to bet that this makes you a pretty great friend to those in grief; you surely have a lot of wisdom to share from your years on earth. Thanks so much for your message.

  • Suzanne Fluhr  July 19, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Having several decades of life beyond you, I can confirm what you’ve learned. Sh*t happens, and sometimes the small stuff is actually big stuff having the nerve to masquerade as small stuff. Several years ago I presided over my father’s death, and he did not go quietly into that good night. However, at almost 85, his death was sad, but not tragic. OTOH, my 50 year old brother-in-law’s sudden death from a heart attack in 2014 was a gut punch, startling partly because it was so out of order. He was the baby of the family, a marathon runner, 10 years younger than my husband, his brother. My brother-in-law’s untimely passing was a carpe diem wake up call. Woody Allen had it (but nothing else) right. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”. It sounds as though you’ve landed (or climbed out) back on your feet. Yay for that because I look forward to reading more of your writing. Carpe diem, Baby.

  • Linda  July 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I loved your book, of course, and I’ve missed seeing you around cyberspace, so I was sad to read the reasons. Here’s the thing, though, despite what Hollywood clearly thought, I didn’t think of your story so much as a love story, as a story about you, about the challenges your adventures revealed. I saw it as a book about self discovery and, of course, travel. I agree with the person who said that you, actually, revealed more than you thought you did…and that is for keeps.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:26 am

      I’m so chuffed to read that, thank you Linda. xo

  • CindyBalfour  July 19, 2017 at 8:16 pm


    I don’t usually write to authors, because I always figure they are busy with their lives. But, I wanted to tell you, I read your first book years ago before we started our Pacific passage. I was scared before we left. I was sure we would get swamped and dink, or have to call the coast guard for rescue or worse. Your book gave me a platform to begin to imagine how I might make it. And a long list of questions to ask my husband of 30+ years. More than once after he answered my question he would ask what was I reading,?

    I’m sad your life with ??? didn’t work out. And I’m glad you have worked through the break and moved forward. You are an amazing individual. I look forward to the next book. Cindy Balfour SV FullCircle

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:27 am

      Cindy, thank you for writing to me! Your words mean a lot to me. xo

  • Julie Potiker  July 20, 2017 at 7:04 am

    My heart feels for your heart with reference to living through your Dad’s illness and watching him pass away. My mom died from cancer 18 months ago and I’m stunned by the enormity of the experience. I can’t imagine having a relationship fall apart at the same time. You are one strong woman! Your book is a terrific read and I’m sure your next book will be equally fabulous. And, by the way, even if the movie deal would have moved forward, it wouldn’t matter that you were no longer together. The story is still the truth for that period of time in your life. Now you are in a new chapter, and it’s wonderful that you are taking your sense of humor and your authentic voice with you!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:30 am

      I’m sorry to hear this, Julie. You’re a strong woman too. I hope you’ve got a good support network and that you’re doing lots of kind and nurturing things for yourself to help ease the pain of it. It’s a long recovery, huh. And thank you so much for your words of support.

  • Arathy  July 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Really enjoyed reading every bit of it. The post-breakup stage is described perfectly. I could easily connect with it.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:30 am

      Thanks, Arathy!

  • Quinn  July 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    “I fought the urge to call out, “And my dad is dead too!” because it’s hard to stop the truth once it starts coming out. “And I have writers’ block and no remaining sense of self-worth!”

    Lucky for us both, she was quick footed.”

    I laughed, because this is something I would do, and then wished I could buy you a baby guinness and give you a hearty slap on the back for getting through it all in one piece, even if that one piece is a little gnarled from the experience.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:30 am

      Oh, a baby Guinness would’ve been so great. Thank you, Quinn.

  • Cheryl Geeting  July 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    So we’ll said! We grow from every life experience, and it’s not all rosy. So glad you got rid of the Candy Crush!

    I loved your first book (I just moved onto a sailboat with my husband) and I can’t wait to read your next one!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:31 am

      Thanks, Cheryl! And congrats on the big move!

  • Mr Hillard  July 20, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    This is definitely a read to remember. You dodged a bullet there..

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:32 am

      Thank you, Mr Hillard.

  • Liz Stevens  July 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Your post brought me to tears, thank you for sharing. I lost my father last February to cancer as well. The whole process was slow yet quick, frightening and depressing, loud but silent. For a while I felt like I was floating above myself in this space of uncertainty and sadness having to force myself back into reality for basic things like showering. I can also commiserate with the loss of a relationship when life get’s too “real.” My favorite words were, “he taught me how to feel the fear and do it anyway, how to leap and build wings on the way down.” What a spectacular gift. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:33 am

      It was a spectacular gift. I appreciate you reminding me of that.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your father. Showering doesn’t have much meaning when your entire sense of meaning bottoms out, so that is understandable. I hope you’re being gentle and generous with yourself at this time. Sending love.

  • Krysann  July 20, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. My mom died a year ago and my blog has lots of “realist” posts on it now. I’ve learned what you have: that sometimes there is no reason, no happy ending, no silver linings… and that doesn’t mean that life is all shit. I’ve learned not to be afraid of feeling sad or angry and that whether I want to or not my life will go on (until it doesn’t) and honoring the pain allows me to enjoy the beauty more. A lesson I was learning in other ways, thanks – death-of-mom was unnecessary. If there is some divine teacher trying to impart wisdom, that was a dick move.

    I’m so deeply sorry for your losses. It’s wonderful to hear that you’re doing better in the day-to-day, but it still sucks that it all happened. You are brave and kind for sharing! Thank you!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:35 am

      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss too, Krysann. I think you captured it very well: “honouring the pain allows me to enjoy the beauty more.” This is the strange duality of pain. You have to know it in excruciating proportions to appreciate the extent of its polar opposite. xox

  • Justtheordinarylove  July 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Beautifully written

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:36 am

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Pamela Gilbert  July 20, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Really enjoyed the excerpt!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:36 am

      Thanks, Pamela.

  • Lynn  July 20, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m in the middle of a divorce and it sucks. I don’t know about happy endings, but I believe love is still out there. And trying to stay positive when my life is burning down. Looking for good things in each day is what’s keeping me afloat right now.
    I hope you find your rightnowness. 🙂

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:37 am

      It really does suck. One day it will all be behind you and you will feel a million times lighter and freer for not dragging a dead relationship behind you everywhere. I wish you luck and love to come.

  • Jennifer  July 21, 2017 at 12:53 am

    I loved this. I’m terribly sorry that there wasn’t a happy ending for you in real life, at least not when you really needed it the most. But I am happy to read that you have found someone who shares more in common with you than your Owen Wilson did. Kudos for sharing the real, raw, pain and heartache that life often throws at us. I look forward to reading your next publication. -Jennifer

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:37 am

      Thank you, Jennifer. That means a lot to me.

  • sai kiran baliji  July 21, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Its a painful one to hear

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:37 am

      Indeed. Thanks for your comment.

  • Julie Cao  July 21, 2017 at 5:00 am

    This is such a beautiful read during the summer night. I personally feel you should publish what you have experienced so the audience who’ve experienced the same can find solace but I know you have your reasons to keep it to yourself. You are brave to write this and tell readers the reality of your life. You are brave and a very great writer, and rightnowness will make you go far. Best -Julie

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:38 am

      Thank you, Julie. I really appreciate your comment.

  • Kriti  July 21, 2017 at 6:39 am

    “What you end up when love shatters is a crime scene with two victims and no villains, no leads for the detectives to follow to a clean and logical answer….”

    This is so good that I am almost in tears..

    I am glad that I stopped by..

    Thanks for writing this wonderful blog post.


    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:40 am

      I’m glad you stopped by too. Thanks, Kriti.

  • Nasra  July 21, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Torre… I liked the way you put it,i feel the real scenario.Yeah,break ups do happen,more so when you least expect it but finally you’ll realize that life has to go on.Sorry for lose.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:40 am

      Thank you, Nasra.

  • David  July 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Here’s a realist comment: Any man or woman who runs off to post sunset pics because they can’t “keep waiting” when their long-time partner’s father is dying of cancer is an A-hole with a capital A.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:41 am

      I am inclined to agree. Thank you, David.

  • Brooke Breazeale  July 22, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    my god, I relate to this on so many levels, I almost feel like I wrote it. My scenario was different, of course, but the heartbreak, timing, unfathomable realization that this person who you loved with everything you had could check out at a time when you were already falling apart…it absolutely breaks my heart to think of someone else went this. I wish I was at the ‘looking back’ phase, and I am truly envious of the resulting realism the ‘rightnowness’ that you embraced. I’m admittedly embarrassed to confess that i’m still in the ‘trying to extract the gift/positive spin’ mode. But this is partially survival, partially how I’m programmed mode. Your writing is brilliant, your resilience. inspiring, and your perspective, hopeful. Thank you and I hope your ‘right now’ continues to bring you much joy and love.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:43 am

      I’m sorry to hear, Brooke. It’s so awful to experience but these experiences do make us stronger and wiser – as clichéd as that might be to say. It forces you to reevaluate all that you believe in, and that is ultimately a good thing I believe. Keep searching. xo

  • Stephanie  July 24, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    I loved this!!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:43 am

      Thank you, Stephanie!

  • lyra  July 27, 2017 at 9:14 am

    uh awkward. yet inspiring. very deep, and rich.

  • Ademilola  July 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Wow,thanks for sharing. I love your viewpoint on being a realist.

  • mixedmusings  July 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Your comment about not knowing what lesson life is trying to teach us, or if there really is even a lesson to learn really resonated with me. I feel like that most days and it can be very draining. Thanks for sharing, it’s nice to know that other people struggle too!

  • Kaleena Q  July 31, 2017 at 3:28 am

    I don’t love what you’ve been through, but I love the way you’ve shared it! I was out traveling the world and met a Kiwi man… On the day I moved across the world to meet and live with his family in New Zealand his father died suddenly and that was quite the ordeal. I stuck it out with him but in the long run he turned out to be a–what’s the word?–sociopath. Anyway, I’d kept a well-followed blog of my journey and our relationship and when it ended I really struggled with how to write about it all without letting on how much ugly crying I was really doing. I found a way to put the positive spin on it and everyone cheered me on for being so resilient… but the truth was I was sitting on a truck, driving through the Namibian desert for 10 hours a day, sobbing to myself and hoping one of those lions would just put me out of my misery. Oh sure, life got better, but my point is that I appreciate your honesty about the whole situation. ” trying to craft life lessons from these circumstances was like trying to bake a cake out of horseshit”. You had me rolling with this one. It’s so true! haha. Good luck with this next chapter, it sound like things are looking up. 🙂

    • Torre DeRoche  August 3, 2017 at 2:46 am

      Thanks, Kaleena. While I feel terrible that you had to go through this too, I also feel comforted to know that I’m not alone! F#@*ing sociopaths.

  • Ange  August 9, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I loved it. It was sad, but funny, but mostly true. Keep it up Torre, catharsis are also a great way to enjoy life, the romans often did so!
    Much love from Europe,

  • Janet Rapaport  August 11, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Wow. Thank you for your honesty Torre. I came across your story because I’m currently writing mine which is also a sailing story… in the Caribbean. One Difference: I ended up with five children to raise alone.. I learned that everything has a shelf life.. Except God’s love which has no limit nor ending. Thank you for your incredible insight.. if you ever come to California …

  • Jenna  August 11, 2017 at 11:03 am

    You’re an amazing writer.

    There is something very, very liberating about undecorated truth. Especially in a digital world of false personas and perfect lives through a series of Instagram filters.

    I think Joe Santagato also said it recently on one of his podcasts, that no one posts their bad days or their bad moments.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be posting them on Instagram or whatever but I feel like the more authentic we can be with ourselves and those around us, the better off we all will be.

    Also, a wise man once told me that you can’t get through life without a sense of humour and you definitely have a sense of humour!

  • Jill van Vucht  August 15, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Hi Torre, Read your book a couple of years ago and loved it. My hubby would LOVE to be a cruiser. Think he sees it as an “escape” . However I get seasick even in Sydney harbor on a yacht. Have to take quells if a slightly rocky sea. Look forward to reading your India book.A couple of books set in India that I have liked are “Legal Confidential” & “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. I an a worrier too unlike my more stoical hubby.Losing a parent is a big shock & difficult to cope with. I am quite a lot older than you. All the best from stranger Jill..

  • Pollyanna  August 15, 2017 at 4:57 am

    What a beautiful honest piece of writing. I so enjoyed reading it. And despite statements to the contrary, the narrative arc did work it’s way around to a heartening conclusion. Your realism is refreshing and funny and a bit pointy. Thank you.

  • Lisa Overman  August 15, 2017 at 5:16 am

    Dear Torre,Oh my god, as I read your post I said Oh my god, oh no! I lost my dad to non hodgkins lymphoma and I could completely relate to your grief, feeling as if the world just caved in.Because the life you had with him has vanished in a well of pain. You are a strong woman to have gone through both a break up and the loss of your father in a very short period of time. Though your post made me cry, it also made me laugh and I have already preordered your book. I hope your life is beautiful again. Prayers and thank you for sharing.

  • Cat  August 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Your candor is refreshing. Sorry to hear about all the loss you’ve been through, and glad to hear you’re making peace with it at your own pace. Thank you for sharing it all with us.

    Looking forward to reading your new book and upcoming blog posts.

    I’m glad you’re back. Keeping doing great work.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 16, 2017 at 4:57 am

      Thank you, Cat. x

  • Hilary  August 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Wow- how gutwrenchingly hard this must have been on top of everything else. I’m sorry that I COMPLETELY forgot I subscribed- but I love you all over again after reading about “the breakup”. You’re amazing! Living life is PAINFUL- and hopefully makes all the highs worth it! Best to you always and I’ll be reading your next book too!! X

  • Victoria Watts Kennedy  August 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

    So happy you’re writing again 🙂 Can’t wait to read the book!

    • Torre DeRoche  September 8, 2017 at 3:24 am

      Thank you! xxo

  • Angela Horn  August 20, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Wow. A truly epic piece of writing, thank you Torre.

    Also, sorry about your Dad and your awkward breakup.

    Sending mad love from Cape Town, SA.

    • Torre DeRoche  August 22, 2017 at 11:25 am

      Thank you so much, Angela. I watched your TED talk today. 🙂

      • Angela Horn  August 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

        Yay! Have you got any stuff left or have you decluttered the lot? 😉

  • Debbie  August 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Wow Torre. Even on your saddest times you still have this beautiful and artistic way with words, I am grateful that you took the time to share it on your blog. The first book was inspirational even having read it three times, I’m still doubtful I could try a fraction of the things you did in those 2 years at sea, such a damn scaredy cat! I wish you Good luck with your future and look forward to the next book.

    • Torre DeRoche  September 8, 2017 at 3:24 am

      Three times?! That is truly flattering. Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words, Debbie. x

  • Kristen Moran  October 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Torre, I so enjoyed your book. I’m a sucker for travel memoirs, especially one written with such warmth, authenticity and humor. Thank you for sharing. I also keep thinking about the connections to mindfulness in your writing. I have recently completed some courses through an organization called Mindful Schools, and I really get your descriptions of “rightnowness” and being more present with what is. Peace to you. 🙂

  • Emma  November 9, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Yes it’s a cliche, but also very true. Perhaps you needed the difficulties you faced in the stormy seas to build up your strength in order to be able to cope with the death of your father. Perhaps that was Ivan’s purpose in your life. You have faced enormous difficulties and each time you came through it, stronger and wiser. You are now a better version of yourself. You don’t need Ivan now, it is time to learn more about yourself and grow even stronger and better with your new man. Let new adventures begin. On your terms this time? Xx

  • Natasha  December 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story Torre! It’s amazing and really encouraging too.

    I’m went through a break up recently and reading your story gives some hope that it doesn’t all end and life does go on.

    Thanks so much x

  • Arthur  December 20, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Discovered your writing today and I love the honesty and humor. Just want to say I appreciate your writing.

  • Lina  February 15, 2018 at 9:37 am

    The best break-up text I’ve ever read. Thank you.

  • Frah Eqbal  February 16, 2018 at 9:19 am

    This is sad but also inspiring. Getting through pain is hard but also it gives you strength.

    That’s why I started a community to promote artists and writers to come together and form magic. It’s where people share their experiences and emotions with the world.

  • Marcus Case  February 25, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Possibly the most engaging, poignant and thought-provoking post I’ve ever come across, Torre. Thank you so much. Best wishes from the UK.

  • Julene  June 2, 2018 at 3:36 am

    I lucked upon your book “Love With A Chance of Drowning” during a rough period of my life and your story not only engrossed me from the first paragraph, it has been my go-to comfort read that I can’t get enough of. I, too, am a graphic designer who worries too much and who has such a desire to “happen to life” rather than letting life just happen to me. I have always been a dreamer, but you Torre are a “doer” and I hope you recognize what an inspiration you are to me and countless others. I relate to you and wish you were my BFF! Keep moving forward and although I hate you went through what you did, I know it has made you even stronger than you probably thought you already were. What great gifts you possess – a maker of beautiful, relatable stories and soul-relaxing art…you are a breath of fresh air.
    With gratitude-

  • Amanda  June 17, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Dear Torre,

    I’m so late to the game but LOVED your book! I’m only 18 and love to adventure even if it’s not something as huge as traveling across the pacific by yatch.

    I’m headed off to college this coming year and after reading your book I got the courage to make my own choices and take a leap of faith and change the major I thought was practical to a major that set my soul on fire. Your life is truly awesome and so full of stories that I am so glad you have shared!

    Wishing you all the best, Amanda

  • Yvette Shoemaker  July 25, 2018 at 5:00 am

    I throughly enjoyed your book! I was having serious wanderlust about not being able to travel right now since we bought a brand new house. Your book made me happy to read about your travels on the boat.

  • ezeego1 india  September 17, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    nice information for me
    thanks to sharing this valuable information.

  • Gillian  November 19, 2018 at 3:52 am

    Hello Torre,
    I picked up your book mainly because I have had a book simmering for many many years, and I thought I should read a few books to see if I could get some inspiration about getting back to editing mine once again. My ex and I sailed the world for 20 years, had two wonderful daughters, and then when we settled down and bought a house – he left! He was also the super-adventurous kind. Your book hit so many memories and was so well-written. Thank you so much for baring your fears. I hope one day you will be reading my book!

  • Mary Beth  November 25, 2018 at 9:49 am

    totally enjoyed your first book, though must say as an older woman with a few lost loves in my past, I did wonder at the end of the book how this adventure would last. You did it and noone can take it away! Bravo. Hope you find your happily ever after like I finally did at age 48 (after 25 years apart)

  • Diana Jahan  December 18, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Very well written and spledid story. Just loved it! 🙂

  • Janet  April 1, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Your writing has always inspired me. At this point in my post-nomadic travel life, now with baby in tow, you inspire me to pursue my love for writing, and memoir writing in particular. YOLO after all.

  • Artsy  May 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    I loved reading this blog today Torre. I am coming up on the third anniversary of my own father’s passing and I still cry and talk to him most every day. I have not been able to write about his last horrible year yet. You are so right to say how dark, scarey and smelly it all is. We are all taught how to live but not how to die or what to expect. You have given me the courage to try to write about it though. Thank you and I am looking forward to reading more of your work-you are very funny and I like that.

  • Larissa  July 21, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, I hope you are in a better place now!! It’s almost always the way that when something goes wrong it’s not just one thing, but a lot of things at the same time! That’s life I guess x




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