Travel journalist April Hutchinson says life was never the same again after a holiday to Amsterdam with her then husband Paul in 2008.

The editor and publisher of TTG Luxury had hoped the three-day trip to Amsterdam would bring the couple closer together – but instead it signalled the end of their relationship.

Speaking on the latest episode of The Holiday That Changed My Life podcast, she said the bombshell turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

She recalled: “I was not long married (just over a year) but we both had crazy diaries, I was all over the place freelancing, travelling, and he was also travelling a lot for work in a completely different sector.

“This was the one weekend in ages when we’d both managed to get to the same place as each other at the same time – and it was our favourite city. For some reason, he chose this as the time to tell me he didn’t love me anymore.

“We were sat in a little café outside at one of those crazy bridge junctions when everyone’s cycling around and it was all so idyllic, and he told me there.

“I was gobsmacked – it was I guess an example of how sometimes the truth comes out when you travel; when you are away from the usual confines of life at home, and you get it all out there!”

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“In honesty, it was a conversation that had needed to be said, as tensions were bubbling away for a while. It was obviously a pivotal moment. We went back to the hotel, I cried, as I always did, and then when we got back, we decided to divorce and he moved out.”

Hutchinson told the podcast’s co-hosts – entrepreneur Jennifer Atkinson and BusinessCloud executive editor Chris Maguire  – how the experience changed her outlook on life.

“If I’m honest I saw it (the breakup) coming,” she said. “It didn’t smack me in the face but it tapped me on the shoulder and gave me a bit of shake.

“In hindsight it was absolutely the best thing. I’ve since gone on to realise that I’d built so much around having a husband and male attention.

“I’m one of the only people in my circle of friends who didn’t have children but I’ve gone on to find an inner calm with myself. It’s a bit of a cheesy one but I am enough.

“I learnt I can be on my own because up until that point I’d always lived with somebody. It was a forced independence but it became an acceptable independence.”

In a candid interview, Hutchinson revealed how she was in Antarctica when her mother died.

“I used to joke that I’d missed birthdays, weddings and christenings because I was always away but nothing can prepare you for the death of a parent,” she said. “That was the ultimate for me. I was the furthest away than I’d ever been when Mum died.

Mum’s funeral had to be within a few days, so there was no way I could make it – I ended up watching it via Zoom from my cabin, which was the most surreal and saddest thing I’ve ever done.”

During the episode Hutchinson recalled some of her favourite holiday destinations and being treated for breast cancer during the pandemic. You can listen here

The hit podcast is produced by Manchester-based video content specialist What Media and is available on RSS, Apple, Spotify and all good platforms.

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Other guests in season one have included Social Chain co-founder Dominic McGregor; Married At First Sight contestant Sophie Brown; and Dragons’ Den star Derry Green.