Traveling or taking a trip is often dubbed as an ultimate ‘get away.’ I once questioned, is your everyday life really that bad that you have to get away? A feeling of ambivalence emerged when I used that term until I changed its definition in my head.
A get away is a moment spent away from our comfort zone to completely switch our brain to focus on something else totally different in order to rejuvenate our energy, mentally and emotionally. In our daily life, we usually do the same routine that we can easily switch to an autopilot mode—where you no longer have to think and you just go with the motion of your actions. While that could be a good thing in terms of survival, it does not nourish us emotionally. Thus, it is so important to have that switch once in awhile. There are more ways to do it, but for the purpose of this article, I will focus on travel. I have traveled around the world and I can testify how traveling transformed the way I perceive myself personally and professionally.
15 years ago, I stood bewildered as I tried to make sense what directions my life was heading. The puzzle had several missing pieces that I didn’t even know where to begin. The unsatisfying job was a given dead end, but the failed relationships and off-the-beaten tracks I took left me feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. Then, I decided to take my first solo travel to Europe. This trip brought forth self -reflection and realizations that are crucial to the successful life decisions I made afterwards. Beyond that, I also became fully connected with myself. If like me, you would love to explore the US, you can get find out how to get your US ESTA registration.
So, here are my reasons why traveling is a good form of therapy:
1. The therapeutic benefit of traveling begins during the planning phase. The anticipation of a trip can evoke positive emotions as we vividly visualize our destination and the activities we anticipate to happen.
2. When we get to our destination, we become carefree. We no longer worry (or not as much) about our stressors at home. It is as if we are in a different dimension of the world. Even better, perhaps we now experience a new version of ourselves.
3. We become curious about our surroundings. It is truly like being children again. We notice every sight and every sound. The moment is finally here, and we are living every minute of it!
4. We now have a broader understanding of the world. This can become a humbling experience as we learn to place more value and appreciation on what we have and gain more respect for other people’s way of life. This holds especially true when we visit a developing country.
5. A trip can definitely help heal emotional pain. As I mentioned earlier, my solo trip to Europe was the beginning of that healing process. It was difficult to move forward without coming to terms with unresolved internal issues. That trip was a turning point in my life.
6. It is easy to get caught up with our busyness that we sometimes place our quality time with our partners on the side. A vacation means that most everything we do involves our partners. This is one amazing way to rekindle that romance.
7. Travels can evoke various emotions that can lead to a deeper introspection.
8. Travel memories can last forever. Not only can it sustain us during lonely times, but it can also trigger a feeling of immense joy.
P.S. Pro Travel Tip – If you fall in love with travelling so much that you want to make a living from it, look into travel affiliate programs as a way to earn money in the travel industry.
About the Writer
Althea Baranda Clark was born in the Philippines. She immigrated to the United States along with her family 27 years ago. She earned her Master’s degree in clinical counseling in 2007. A few years later, she earned another Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She is currently in her final phase of her Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology. Althea has been a psychotherapist for 10 years and is practicing in the Las Vegas area. Beyond the professional realm, Althea is an avid traveler. She has been to almost 50 countries and 38 US states.
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