Travelling as a Healing Therapy

Jainab Tabassum Banu Sonali

12 November, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Travelling as a Healing Therapy

The rise of technology and globalisation has made our life easier, smoother and smarter. The world is now in the grip of our hands. Everything is just one click away as the virtual world is broad enough to contain almost everything in it. We think of something and it appears even in a virtual version. However, the excessive availability of anything can turn technology into a bane sometimes. It often gets stressful to be inside the territory of our comfort zones. We are challenged by our own expectations having no boundary. If expectations are ambitions made us sad, unhappy, depressed and distressed, we seek different ways to get rid of boredom. Some voracious people keep on eating exotic foods until they feel relaxed. Some people go out for shopping where they get excitement buying different products. Some even consult therapists in order to fight severe depression. Travelling, in that case, works like a magic to boost up the positive vibes. This is because of its therapeutic quality. It can be taken as a wonderful therapy.

Some people think that it is complete wastage of money to go for a trip. In a trip, there are a few mandatory budgets like room rent, food, vehicle and local shopping. Pessimists would only focus on the monetary figure. Optimists spend for gaining something positive. They spend money to acquire knowledge and gather everlasting memories from any trip. Travelling works as therapy whether it is educational, medical or merely for the sake of adventure. And the therapeutic function of travelling starts from its planning. While planning a solo, group or family tour, usually we get excited. We forget about our comfort zone and fantasize to explore a new world. This excitement invigorates happy hormones in our body. We feel well. For the time being, we imagine to get into a utopian world where we rarely find a little connection with our busy, boring and colourless reality.

When we go to a new place, we become curious to know about every new thing. Every silly thing matters a lot during a trip. We become kids once again. The inhabitants and indigenous people at any tourist place greet and treat the tourists in such a friendly manner that we, the tourists, get overwhelmed and awed by their hospitality. Think about your daily routine. You work under supervision of a strict boss who always sets unrealistic goals for you. When you fail to accomplish your task, you are scolded and demeaned. You obviously feel sad. But, you have nothing to do in such a situation. At this stage, you badly need a break. When you go to a place where local residents start addressing you as ‘sir/madam’ and treat you kindly, you automatically will feel good about yourself. Your battery will be recharged in a moment and you will again become confident. See, how this therapy works! Even all the imaginary descriptions work as therapy.

Let us talk about the mesmerising beauty of a tourist spot. Usually people look for exotic places where their mind can get lost in the greenery. We tend to get closer to greenery, because the enchanting beauty soothes our eyes. When we see something green, we see life and we feel alive. It excites our desire to live anew. A sea shore is another wonderful place for travelling. In front of a sea, we become innocent kids. All our essence and existence along with our existing problems seem smaller and sillier in front of the gigantic sea. Nature becomes the ultimate therapist. We continuously get wowed by nature.

There is another form of nature which we don't see outside, but perceive inwardly. That is human nature and the nature of interpersonal relationship. Travelling improves the quality of relationship among the travel partners. The concept of 'honeymoon' also stands on the basis of this thought. Travelling gives us the chance to spend some quality time with our nearest and dearest ones. Nowadays, everyone is so busy with work and other undeniable schedules. We get less time to meet and sit. For this reason, the centre of relationship is falling apart. Misunderstandings arise and relationships suffer. Travelling provides us with the scope for rediscovering our partners anew. A family trip is also helpful for the family members to have confidence in each other. Even in a solo trip, when you are absolutely on your own, you tend to give yourself more time to work on your unexplored sides. As soon as you find out your hidden self, you get astonished to see a new you. Your own nature can mesmerise you.

Besides knowing our partners more, travelling gives us the chance to meet new people of different cultures. While discovering new places and tasting new food items, we end up getting associated with so many new faces. As we know more about others, we think more of ourselves. Knowing different types of people is fun and also important to become a writer. Our minds take snapshots of all the new places and faces and keep them inside the hidden chamber of our unconscious mind. Later, we recollect the memories and write a mind-blowing literary piece. So the effect of travel therapy even works after we finish our trip and start writing down our memories. So, writing is another way of healing.

Travelling is a manifestation of spiritual instincts to be free. By nature, people love freedom. We have a tendency to think of ourselves chained in so many duties and responsibilities. Travelling provides us with the thought of being free from almost all kinds of official and informal responsibilities for a few days. It eventually provides us with a chance for discovering our own newer and more dynamic selves. Unconsciously, we find new dimensions in our personality and a new meaning of life.

When we go through tough phases, we look for an escape route. We tend to find out a heterotopic space to live a life on our own term in our own way. We look for better therapies. Travelling gives us the long cherished time and space. When we return home after a fantabulous trip, we find our familiar homely place more beautiful. Practically, our home remains the same old living space. What really changes and gets newer is our spirit. We plan, we experience, we live and we become a new entity after the amazing therapeutic thing called travelling.


The writer is a Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at Premier University Chittagong.