After breaking up with her boyfriend at the airport hours before boarding a plane to Sri Lanka, a woman decided to turn a bad situation into a life-changing one.
Keep scrolling for the full, and remarkably inspiring story…
Saying the first “I love you”s, renting an apartment together, getting a first shared pet… The list could go on.
Going on vacation for the first time can be a huge deal for some couples, and many see it as a true test of how strong their relationship really is.
They can survive anything, right?
But some couples take vacations to repair their relationship…
In the hope that a little sunshine and relaxation will solve any ongoing issues that they’re going through.
And what happens if you and your partner break up before even boarding the flight?
Well, it has actually happened and, for one woman, it transformed her life for the better.
5 years ago, Janey, from Newcastle, United Kingdom, was working as a vet and living with her long-term boyfriend, Alex.
Janey, who had always wanted to be a vet after growing up on a farm, had the career of her dreams, a nice car, and a beautiful house.
Her relationship with Alex, who she’d been with since she was fourteen, started to decline after they had moved in together.
Speaking about her experience, Janey explained:
“On the outside, we had everything, a seemingly enviable and glamorous lifestyle. But I’d come home tired and stressed, and he’d be exhausted from playing rugby full time. It was like the fun was over and we needed to shake things up.”
But they ended up breaking up there and then at the airport… Before they’d even boarded the plane.
They decided to continue with their vacation anyway, just as friends rather than boyfriend and girlfriend.
Janey couldn’t help but be distracted by one thing, and it wasn’t her failed relationship.
As a vet and a devoted dog-lover, Janey couldn’t help but notice the high number of injured and diseased dogs living on the streets.
“The healthy ones seemed happy enough roaming the streets, but all too often they were mange-ridden or injured. Their soulful eyes followed me as if asking for help.”
And it was these dogs who made Janey realize what she truly wanted out of life.
“With Alex and I now split, it would have been easy to move out and carry on with my nice comfortable life, but I realized there was nothing tying me down now. Why not go to Sri Lanka and start treating these animals?
Janey decided that she had to stay in Sri Lanka to help these desperate pooches.
So she spoke to her boss at the veterinary clinic back home who, upon hearing her story, donated £10,000 (around $13,000) to help get her started.
What a boss!
Janey flew back out to Sri Lanka, where she planned on living and working as a vet for one year.
“I tied up the loose ends of my life, sold my car and booked my flight for October 2014. Along with my clothes, I packed surgical kits, bandaging, and Manuka honey, which can help with wound management.”
She moved back to the surfing retreat where she had stayed during her first visit, and it was here where she first set up her charity, WECare Worldwide, a non-profit that provides basic veterinary care to all street dogs in Sri Lanka.
And, while treating as many injured dogs as she could, she also worked on growing the charity as a brand and getting her message out to the world.
“Making the charity a success became my focus. As well as treating the dogs, I taught myself how to build a website, how to fundraise, generate publicity, and all the other things you never think about.”
Janey now lives permanently in Sri Lanka, and her charity is thriving.
“I went from having one tuk-tuk driver to now employing 17 members of staff, including five vets, three nurses and several trainees.”
Janey admits that there have been major downsides to her change in lifestyle, explaining:
“I am frequently bitten by dogs, including some with rabies, so I’ve needed jabs that have sometimes made me sick. I’ve contracted mange, as well as ringworm, which isn’t nice. I’ve suffered abuse from locals who think I am mad.”
Janey’s life is a far cry from what it used to be, but she wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I live in a simple beach bungalow, with a lean-to kitchen, camping hob and sadly, rats. Surfing is my therapy, I try to go every day… I have also adopted five dogs called Mali, Benji, Stitch, Lottie, and Tilly.”
To both visit her friends and family and to fundraise for the charity.
“I’ll go to the dentist, hairdresser and get my legs waxed at the same time. My priorities have changed. I haven’t used a hairdryer or worn make-up during the day for years.”
And, speaking about when people call her selfless, she explained,
“I’d like to expand our charity across Sri Lanka and open clinics in other parts of Asia. People have described me as selfless, but I love what I do and get to spend time with animals every day. I get as much back from these dogs as I give them, I feel so lucky.”
If you’d like to donate to Janey’s charity, you can do so here.
And one woman, who was holidaying in Turkey, simply couldn’t leave one of the street dogs behind.
Keep scrolling to hear just how she managed to bring the pooch home…