Can Travel Be a Therapeutic Journey?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Blog | 2 comments

 

                Clear Water Lake in central Maine.

 

Can travel be a therapeutic journey? Why do you travel? We know that travel isn’t always cheap. Anyone who has ventured out into the beyond also knows that traveling can be fraught with problems. Lost luggage, too much booze, late nights, cramped schedules and spending a lot of money on souvenirs often leaves people in need of a second vacation just to rest up from the first vacation.

Is it possible to make a travel experience something less frenetic and more satisfying?

It’s been said before that travel opens the mind. I believe it dispels the myth of manmade boundaries as well. It can even help us to recognize ourselves in the faces of those from other cultures, making the “us against them” model less effective at dividing humanity.

As a transformative experience, however, travel has much to offer.

It may be that the therapeutic benefits of traveling require a measure of deliberate intentions if, indeed, we want to reap the absolute most from a trip. Are there ways to approach a trip that can produce these benefits more easily? I think there is,  although what works for me certainly comes with no guarantee that it’ll work for anyone else. Here are eleven things that I try to build into every trip whether domestic or international.

Pemaquid Point Maine in the fog.

 

Make sure that nature is part of the plan.

Get off the beaten track.

Take note of every-day life in different cultures.

Sit and observe.

Make an effort to try new foods, music and wines.

Allow your perspective to be challenged.

Spend at least a wee bit of time alone.

Keep your belongings to a minimum.

Enjoy a history lesson whenever possible.

Talk to locals.

Be spontaneous.

My therapeutic recipe sounds nothing like the standard vacation, but once you try it, you may never want to be a typical tourist again. I always return home feeling better, not just because I had a good time, but because I expanded my mind, my vision of reality and was touched by the beauty of nature and the  comings and goings of every day life elsewhere.

Try it and wherever you go, happy trails ….

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2 Comments

  1. This is such a good article. I agree wholeheartedly. I was trying to come up with some more ideas and all I could come up with were;
    Allow plenty of time – so you can be spontaneous and/ or sit and observe.Too many people plan too much for their trip. (Me included)
    Stay within your budget. Overspending is stressful.

    • Thank you, Nikki. I haven’t heard from you for a long time. How are you?

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