YOU DON’T NEED A THERAPIST, YOU NEED TO TRAVEL

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All of us have probably found ourselves mildly depressed at least once in our lives, with or without any particular explanation. It could be any combination of reasons or it could be something that bothers us without realizing what that something really is. Or it might be the routine we live in and we just need a change.

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Before thinking of paying a visit to a therapist, I would suggest taking a trip somewhere. I can guarantee you that, by the time you are back, you’ll feel much better – or at least you’ll have a clearer idea of what is bothering you and how to change it. Yes, travel does that to you. It opens your eyes, opens your heart, unlocks and unblocks you and makes your anxiety slip away.

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HOW DO I KNOW?

 

Besides my personal struggles where travel proved to be my antidote, several studies involving scientific research prove exactly the same thing: Traveling, millennia’s favorite hobby, is stress relieving and curing.

Who am I to doubt that?

To add to that theory, I asked several people from different countries, backgrounds, sex and age a very simple question to get their personal perspective: What does traveling mean to you?

Their replies went deeper than what I expected, things like “it teaches us not to be afraid”, “it is how I recharge”, “expanding horizons”, “it’s a time to enjoy life”, “discovering oneself”, “fighting my/your fears”, “leaving your comfort zone” while most of them gave me the answer “meeting new people & making new friends”.

Click HERE for the full post THE MEANING OF TRAVELING
If that doesn’t describe what travel does to people, then I don’t know what does.

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It’s a way to meet new people.

Which means to be able to socialize, exchange ideas, meet new cultures, have alternative conversations, and see things from a different angle. That alone can help so much with mild depression. Meeting new people, hearing and relating to their perspective- a fresh one that you never heard from your friends or family back home, which will also happen to be the one you really need – will make an impact on your life. Do not doubt that, it happens more often than you think.

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Also you’ll be able to meet people with problems way bigger than yours which will make you appreciate the life you have and view it differently. That’s what happened to me when I went to Egypt, where I saw people simply trying to survive. People who lived in graveyards. People who will never ever have the chances I had in my life. Yet they were still smiling and enjoying their lives, one day at a time. They seemed to enjoy the small things, like a picture I asked to take of them, a falafel wrap I offered them, and just the fact that someone had noticed them. That was such a healing trip for me. It made me realize, among other things, how lucky I am and how small my problems actually are.

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It is different when you see it in person than when you watch it on the news or NatGeoTravel. And way different when it is YOUR experience and not the one you read on my blog.

So cash out that check you were saving and book an airline ticket before you book a doctor’s appointment and TRAVEL.

Because to travel is to live.

And so many of us get depressed because we forget how to live. We are consumed by what society dictates and what the mass does and we forget that each one of us needs different things to fulfill us. Take a step back, relax, find a destination you really want to visit and try to mingle with the locals.

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Leave your comfort zone and dare to do something different. Go to Norway and watch the Northern Lights, visit the Great Pyramids in Egypt, crash a Greek Wedding (they are usually big, you won’t get noticed :p), book a hiking tour to Mount Kilimanjaro, visit the Monkey Forest in Bali, go to a yoga retreat in India, have a beer in a pub in Texas… just DO what you’ve always wanted to do when the “buts” were too big and responsibilities held you back. Put you first. Prioritize.

I’m sure there is one thing you’ve been meaning to do your whole life.

There’s no better time than now!

The cure for your depression is just one ticket away.

 

10 Comments

  • Tahnee says:

    I know I need to travel to stay happy. And that’s not even abroad. I love my little town but sometimes my mind and my eyes and my soul need to look at something different. I need to be somewhere else.

  • Such a great post. I agree that traveling teaches you how to live and gives such a new perspective!

  • I kind of agree with you. And it is difficult to believe that there are many people who think travelling is too much work and too much money, and they would rather do something else. Well everyone has difficult times in life, and it is important to look at things from a different angle. You never know, your problems might not seem so big anymore. I think that travelling provides you with exactly this opportunity – to look at things from a different dimension.

  • Jennifer says:

    I love this! Travel is such therapy for me. But, honestly, the last trip I came home from I truly suffered a little mini depression when I came back because I looked forward to it for so long and I was all over.

  • Iva Ursano says:

    Boom!! I sold and got rid of 53 yrs of my life and bought a one way ticket to Guatemala. That was almost 2 yrs ago and I haven’t looked back. I’m in still in Guatemala but travel around this area lots :)

  • Kasia says:

    This is definitely a great idea for at least some people. If you have the means, the time and no responsibilities I say go for it. But it might not be possible for all of us. Travel does cost money, time and you can’t just leave everything behind. If that was the case I would be off to Egypt tomorrow but for now I have to wait. Travel is a great opportunity to unwind and get out of our head for sure. I know I want to travel and experience more but at the moment life is getting in the way 😜

  • Amiekay says:

    This is sage advice. I know for a fact that my depression and anxiety were linked to me not doing what I wanted, but instead doing what others expected of me. My anxiety has lessened since I realized my dream to travel and started doing what I want to do. I also appreciate the luxuries back home a lot more.

  • Jen says:

    I totally agree! Especially in America where depression is prevalent. We need to eat out of our heads and routine sometimes, it’s good for you!

  • This is a great post! I agree that traveling is a form of an anti-depressant, a way to put our problems into perspective and is a way to meet new people. However, it is important to note that some people really do need therapy. They cannot just brush their illness under the rug and travel. Thanks for sharing this post!

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