Where ever You Go. You Take Yourself With You… Neil Gaiman
I’m an experienced professional who has developed and devoted herself to travel, therapy (and family).
It was during my own travels across the globe when I visited countries such as Thailand, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand & the USA, did I began to realise the power of combining travel + therapy.
Bringing these two elements together, empowers an individual to create sustainable change, develop emotional resilience, which allows a re-energising of life. As the quote above states – where ever you go, you take you with you and as fantastic as you feel in the moment when sitting in the massage chair experiencing reflexology for the umpteenth time, or how it helps to marvel at an amazing natural wonder in some far off foreign land. And both of these things really do help believe me. I know when I worked in Thailand, one of the things I appreciated from the thai women I encountered was the way in which, if they wanted to show me something, they would reach out and grab my hand, taking me with them. I didn’t feel like a child. I felt I was connecting with them. It made all the difference to me, when I was living in a foreign country and so was not around my loved ones who would hug and hold my hand.
Oxytocin may provoke greater trust, empathy, and morality in humans, meaning that giving hugs or other shows of physical affection may give you a big boost to your overall well-being (and the well-being of others; Barraza & Zak, 2009); Positive Psychology
At some point you’ll come back to your life – go back to the patterns ingrained and continue walking the stressful path, which can lead to heavy drinking, poor and negative eating habits, break down in relationships or tiredness and a lack of energy and excitement in living.
It’s important to have your freedom (and I’m not talking about necessarily spending time completely alone), the time away to explore and enjoy what you do, in the way you do.
Now I’m an advocate for being healthful – practicing in the field of addiction, it has been easy to see the path that some walk down, when not knowing how to deal with the stress they encounter other than sitting down at the end of a day and pouring a drink or taking a line of cocaine to increase the happy factor but in the long run, does it really help or if by utilising travel you can get to know yourself in a different way – does that then help you to create new and improved habits to incorporate into your life.
Working in a facility in Thailand dealing with international clients, I learnt that the reason many of them arrived on the doorstep, was due to their love of travel. The delight they felt in being abroad and how it connected them with a sense of freedom at such a difficult time in their lives.
Being able to make sense of their conflicted feelings around the damage they’d been inflicting on their loved ones and being in a place of beauty to deal with such difficulties, meant that I would therapeutically work with them to explain how being somewhere different and even exotic, would help them face up to the challenge of gaining and keeping sobriety but I also worked with them to learn experientially the importance in staying grounded through the process, acknowledge and never forget why they were there.
My experience of wellbeing came to the fore during our travels, when I was in Australia. At times I felt like I floated rather than walked as my sense of wellbeing grew exponentially.
I felt like a bubble – with all its colourful hues, shifting and changing constantly. It was an intensely powerful experience and it showed me how to interpret and understand the importance of realising our hierarchy of needs to enable us to live a good life – one suited to our needs. Yet it was my therapeutic brain which figured it all out and allowed me to develop the understanding which helped me to move forward in my life. I am an advocate and a true believer that if you combine travel + therapy, it will indeed = wellbeing!