The Signal

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Monday May 20th

OPINION: Traveling is the remedy you never knew you needed

<p><em>Traveling offers us the opportunity to leave our comfort zone. (Photo courtesy of </em><a href="" target=""><em>Flickr</em></a><em> / Tom Hall, Aug. 31, 2014)</em></p>

Traveling offers us the opportunity to leave our comfort zone. (Photo courtesy of Flickr / Tom Hall, Aug. 31, 2014)

By Brinda Patel

As we grow up, we lose sight of what is and isn’t truly important. It is so easy to throw ourselves into a mental rabbit hole as we climb the ladders of our professional and personal lives. Whether it’s school, extracurriculars or career development, maintaining a balance among all of our interests is important for our overall health.

Traveling offers us the opportunity to leave our comfort zone. In doing so, we have the chance to learn more about ourselves. This endeavor requires a leap of faith and some wishful thinking. It’s normal to worry about the uncertainty of a long-distance trip; but just remember, traveling is not about the location, it’s all about how one interacts with their surroundings.

Traveling is an essential remedy that allows us to turn our minds off and just be. It removes us from our materialistic lifestyles and offers new visual perspectives that allow us to expand our mindset and imagine a life that’s different from the ones we’ve created for ourselves — good or bad. 

There is a whole world out there waiting for us and that can expand our perspective. According to the Harvard Business Review, taking time off from work can make us happier, healthier and more productive. When we are experiencing less stress, we are more likely to return from our travels with more enthusiasm and a newfound sense of purpose. Even the most fleeting excursions can reconstruct a crumbling mindset.

A notable text that epitomizes both mental health and travel is Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir “Eat Pray Love.” This book is the pinnacle of mindfulness. When Gibert found herself lacking balance in her life, she embarked on a year-long expedition across Italy, India and Indonesia to discover her true purpose.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort,” Gilbert wrote in the book. “You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it.”

Gilbert’s story illustrates the cosmic power of self-discovery through platefuls of food, silent meditation and finding true peace in the most unexpected places. The novel’s candid portrayal of mental health struggles serves as a beacon of hope for anyone seeking balance. 

It’s hard to argue that exploring isn’t fun. Even simple things like sitting in a cozy café or joining a walking tour can encourage a more positive outlook. It creates an opportunity for us to experience things we never knew we needed. This is why when people are reminiscing about pleasant memories, they instantly become much happier. As we grow up, this phenomenon only grows more apparent. The will of action boosts overall satisfaction and joy. 

Traveling, without a shadow of a doubt, unlocks opportunities for growth. It is not just a hobby, it’s an essential ingredient for our mind, body and soul. It improves our mental health by helping us feel calm and grounded. At first, it may feel nerve-wracking to go to an unfamiliar destination, but that’s the fun part. Discovering something unexpected is good. We’ll never find our purpose by staying in our comfort zones.


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