“TRAVEL”. Just hearing this word gets me excited. I love traveling and I do travel a lot mostly on work but I manage to combine pleasure as well on every trip of mine.
I used to always ask myself I wonder what it is like for people who do not travel or hate traveling. Their lives must be so boring or monotonous. I mean seriously, you miss out on so much by staying in your little bubble. I can vouch for this as the day I started traveling I literally experienced a whole new world, one I could never have dreamt about.
I love people and always love meeting new people and try to understand what they think, how they feel, what they are going through. I used to ask myself these questions .What if someone has just failed an exam? Or gone through a breakup? Or what if the rains in London get to you? Or the flooding in Mumbai just seems, aarghh? What if you have had enough of the snow in Canada? What if the summer in Texas is just too hot? What if someone is battling with a divorce or cancer? Or has just lost a loved one? My questionings never end. What if in situations like these people can not get out of where they are? Or maybe they do not know how. That is when I began to think that there should be a guide to make traveling sound good, easy and inexpensive.That is when I heard about Travel Therapy. As some of my friends who do not understand how and why I travel ask me these questions. Isn’t it tiring? What do you get out of it? How can you do it? How do you know what is a good place to go to?
Well with all that said let me Donnabelle, take you on a journey of Travel Therapy.So fasten your seat belts for a journey of change. As we take off, let us look at what Travel therapy really means and how beneficial it is. After you go through this article, I am sure you can find many reasons to use travel therapy as an answer to some of your life's situations.
What is Travel Therapy?
If I had to describe this in one word I would say “CHANGE”.
Travel therapy involves changing your environment and through that you begin to change your attitude and perspective on a lot of things. I am sure you will agree with me that it does get tiring to keep doing… or have the same old routine (unless you have Neophobia).
By visiting new destinations you get a change in air and scenery as well. Sometimes when we are discouraged, stressed and low we need to get out of where we are, for if we stay in the same spot we think the same things, and it triggers the same emotions or feelings which lead to same behavior patterns. When you travel it compels you to adjust to newness and there is something elevating about seeing and experiencing newness and beauty that just eradicates the old. It helps refresh you. It helps you to feel and think out of the box.
Travel Therapy is an excellent concept. It drives home the need for us to focus on our life values (not goals) and align living our lives in accordance with our values. It is not only to help us get through the tough times but also celebrate special occasions.Remember, you don’t have to take an entire week to travel. Even a few days away can soothe you and make you feel like a whole new person. To get where you want to be in Life and have different results while remaining the same person is not possible. In other words to change your life, YOU would have to CHANGE. This is where perspective on Travel as Therapy can begin its application.
It is important to note that if we pick a vacation or a trip we need to make sure that it matches our emotions and that way it will help us to get out of the situation we are in. To be more specific I will now list a couple of situations, some that you may identify with or relate to. After listing these situations, I will explain how travel therapy relates to you.
1. Just come through a break up.
2. Feeling tired and exhausted.
3. Failed an exam.
4. Lost a job.
5. Bored with your life.
6. Just got done with studying and getting ready to start working and get a job (Post-Graduation Uncertainty).
7. Just retired.
8. Got a promotion or have a family celebration.
9. Want some quality time with the family.
10. Need some romance in your relationship?
1. Have you just come through a breakup? You do not need to be locked up in a room to brood over your emotions. You need to treat yourself and build that self esteem, meet new people and get on with your life. How? A good way is to travel. You can do this either by keep moving; or go for a spa vacation. I know that sounds perfect. You need it. You deserve it. What are you waiting for? Make it about YOU!
2. Are you feeling tired and exhausted? You need a break. Yes you need to unwind; and get out of your normal routine. Go some place where you don’t have to do the usual. Just relax and treat yourself. It may just be for the weekend, just two days. GO! You need to recharge yourself because if you don’t you will burn out and then that will be bad because if that happens you will end up in the hospital really sick. You can take a trip to a hill station or mountain near by or a lake house. Whatever you feel relaxed with. You know yourself better than anyone. Try it.
3. Are you feeling down as you just failed your exam? Do you feel like a failure? And like your world has just collapsed on you? Well guess what? It has not. There is more out there and you need a little break before you attempt to do that exam again. Get your mind off your books for a few days. Rejuvenate yourself, give your brain some refreshment and then you will be able to get back to your books and focus and do that exam again and come off with flying colors. It may be just heading to a resort if you are a person who gets refreshed by relaxing. Find some thrills, instead of relaxation if you need activity to keep you going. You can even plan some daring destinations. Whatever works for you, do it. It could be skiing or climbing a mountain, or swimming with sea creatures, whatever it looks like, that sounds good to you to get your mind off your exam, do it. Plan to travel and find your perfect destination.
4. How is travel therapy going to help you when you lose a job? You may be worried about your finances at this time and travel may seem the farthest from your mind. You may be thinking that you need to prioritize and budget. But can I assure you that travel can relieve stress. Travel therapy is affordable. That is the beauty of the idea. You do not have to make the trip an expensive one. You can tailor it to fit your budget. The trip does not necessarily have to include air travel. It might be just an overnight road trip. You could even stay with your friends. There is nothing quite like taking yourself away from what you know and what you always do, to get some perspective and rejuvenation. Changing your surroundings is, without a doubt, a form of therapy.
5. What do I do? What’s next? I’m so bored! If this is you then, Travel Therapy is for you. You can shake things up. You can try going to Africa and help poor orphaned children out there, or even take a trip to the slums in Dharavi in Mumbai and help some slum kids. Through that you can get a different perspective on your life and what you have. You will definitely come back and appreciate your life. If you just want some excitement you can plan a trip filled with thrills. Mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, snorkeling, safari adventure, or even a Hummer road trip, whatever is more “you”. You know yourself and so go with what works for you. What you need is a little change and break from your usual monotonous day and environment.
6. Are you starting a new phase in your life ? Before you get into your job you need a break. Yes you need time to celebrate your achievement of completing all those years of studying and hard work. You can plan a road trip with your friends or go to a new place or take a break with your family in another state. You can work it out in your budget.
7. Retirement. There’s a quote that I’m reminded of "Retired is being twice tired, First tired of working, Then tired of not." Do you feel a sense that you are a worn out individual and should be placed in the corner of the house sitting idle most of the time? Well let me tell you that this is the wrong thing to feel. This period of life can be made fun and worth living to explore the unexplored. Travel therapy can be one of your answers. You can either go on a cruise with your partner or maybe visit a distant land, which you have always wanted to see. And remember there is no age bar for a second honeymoon. This is the age when you are alone most of the time with your partner, so make the best use of it.
8. Yeah! You got promoted! It is the time to celebrate. Treat yourself to some travel therapy Celebrate you. The next few days are going to be busy so take some time off to get a change in environment and refresh you. If you have family then plan a celebration trip for all. Travelling is the best way to celebrate together. It is good therapy for the whole family to discover newness together and enjoy each other out of the “regular” situations.
9. Work over family? Have you neglected your family and been too absorbed in your work? Well you need to take a break and get the whole family away together. Yes I am talking about Travel Therapy. You will be amazed how you and your teenager can connect on a fun trip together. Your family is important and you deserve this time together.
10. Are you looking for some romance in your relationship? Uh huh, A romantic getaway or escape is the answer for you. You may need to experience some crystal clear lakes or some vibrant forests. You may need some travel to a beautiful and romantic beach hotel or resort. You need to experience paradise with your special someone. A glass of wine with a loved one alongside a white sandy beach, now doesn’t that sound good? If you don’t drink alcohol then you could do with some coconut water or lemon soda. It is not what you drink but who you are with, away from the usual. However you need to remember that you do not want to go to a family friendly resort where you have kids screaming and running around and killing your quiet time. Pick the trip that’s right for you.
I am sure by now you are able to get a clearer understanding of what Travel Therapy is. You also need to understand your environment; and know that it is a reflection of everything by which you may have defined yourself. It is all about your habits, and your past. That includes your language, social interactions your networks, your profession, your possessions everything with which you function or operate by. So your environment influences and holds the purpose for your behaviors and beliefs. So then if you change your environment, it is possible to change your perception. Change in environment can also help you discover and observe your habits. I hope that through some of what I shared you can find out what you are going through in your life right now and you on your own are able to reveal some very exciting answers to some of your questions. Remember it all depends on your personality. Where is your head and your heart right now? That is a question you may want to ask yourself. To ensure no disappointment and to make sure you have the right trip do not forget to do your research on your travel.
I would like to end with a quote by author Karen Schaler of the book Travel Therapy: Where Do You Need to Go? . “Travel therapy will never be a faddish cure because the benefits from travel are timeless. It will never go away because there is a whole world to explore and once you get started it’s hard to stop” .Schaler believes that “Travel Therapy gives you places where you can lick your wounds, volunteer your time or change your attitude”. I could not agree more with this author and I am with her on her views.
There is a whole world out there waiting for you to explore. Change can take place anywhere and for anyone. You are the one who needs to make up your mind and take the first step and plan that right trip. It will help you find your way in more ways than you can imagine.
Allow Travel Therapy to be your guide and map to newness, fun and change. My prayer for you is that through this journey you can experience happiness, get to know yourself, and who knows, you may even obtain success. Let this phase of your life be full of joy and one that is worth living. Now is the time to explore the unexplored. So refresh yourself today and discover a new “You”.
It is all about Change. It is all about Travel Therapy. It is all about YOU!
Author's Profile: Donnabelle Philips having a BLA in psychology and music is a social worker/lay counselor ,trainer and event coordinator working with women who have been rescued from human trafficking and street children. She is passionate about her work and loves to see people develop and discover their identity and strengths and overcome their weaknesses and focus on positive living. Her quote of Life: "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give".