Last updated on July 23rd, 2021 at 06:19 am
People point out how travel has improved my mental health and that I’m flourishing.
And some described my aura as goals or something they aspire to have, but the thing is you can’t just leave the country and ultimately heal of your trauma or internal struggles.
How Does Travel Help Mental Health?
Ok, so being abroad has helped me with my mental health.
I can’t deny that.
Living in Thailand has taken away certain sociodemographic factors that caused me stress in the states. Like racial injustices, sexism, and the rat race that keeps most of us burnt out.
When I’m abroad, I don’t worry about capitalism or systemic racism (as much). But the reality is—these problems don’t vanish, so I’m still affected by them.
People travel abroad on vacations to escape reality and experience a euphoric feeling. Then after it’s over, and a certain sadness lingers because you miss paradise.
At least that’s how I used to feel.
But what I love about traveling is, it gets me out of my head and into the present moment. It teaches me gratitude in enormous ways like travel itself and how blessed I am to do so.
I love it so much that I might be addicted to it!
Learning about new cultures, trying delicious foods, forming new connections, and having an adventurous is what I live for. It gets me high in ways I didn’t think I could elevate.
How Travel Doesn’t Help
I realize I use to travel to run away from some of my problems, but the thing about internal issues is they always surface in one way or another.
I thought traveling would help me feel less lonely because I would meet so many people on the way. But I realized that me feeling lonely had nothing to do with being surrounded by people physically.
It had to do with how I felt about myself and being afraid of putting myself out there.
I assumed I would never feel depressed, and since I would be in a new environment, my gratitude would surpass my feelings of not wanting to get out of bed or eat.
I thought I’d meet someone and fall madly in love, and we would travel the world together. But it’s still just as hard for me to put myself out there.
Being American is a privilege that I thought would make people look past my skin color—nope, racism is everywhere.
These are just a few ways I thought traveling would cure me and ultimately make me happier in the ways I was lacking.
But it amplified the issues I needed to work on. It all came back to me bettering my mindset and challenging myself no matter where I was or my situation!
Although traveling is a remedy, like drinking tea when you’re sick, it’s up to you to cure yourself or whatever you’re running from will keep chasing you!
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