For the past several years, we were unable to travel let alone move around to see friends and family in our own city, but things seem to be opening up more and the rules and regulations appear to be less. Thus, one of the options on everyone’s agenda is traveling to the destination that you dreamed about, but the reality of actually going and actually making it happen are two different things.
We all at some point of time have felt the need to put our feet up in the air, get out of our mundane existence and be somewhere else. The travel bug is knocking on your door, waiting for you to welcome it with open arms.
Travel means different things to different people. For some it maybe that fancy annual vacation and for others a visit to their native homes where we have to lift a finger. For some it maybe a great way to educate their kids, and then for others the innate desire to get out, explore and feel fully alive. Whatever the reason, travel is an essential part of our existence.
From a tourism industry perspective, there has always been a positive and constructive relationship between travelling and mental health. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted tourism and peoples mobility on a global scale. Tourism and travel in many countries halted for several months due to closed borders or regional lockdowns. However, safety is crucial factor when travelling, global safety issues may significantly result in tourist behavioral changes.
A wondering mind may be how travel can change the way you think. This is one way that l try to envision when l am having a bad day. Here’s a situation familiar to us…. we decide to take a vacation and go somewhere exotic. We plan the trip and mark our calendars, and as the date gets closer, we get increasingly excited. Before we step on the plane, the possibilities seem endless. Anything could happen! Accidental encounters and adventures could change our lives!
Travel without participation and reflection is entertainment. Try to imagine yourself in the journey and capture experiences and insights when you interact with all the new things you are confronted with. You can get more out of your travel by using mental models to weave yourself into the experience and come away enriched as well as entertained and rested. These techniques work wonders when travelling or thinking about that trip. Picturing these trips will give you a fresh and relaxing break amongst a world that is in total chaos.
With most companies selling us, the idea that vacationing makes us happier, this begs the question of, will we be really much happier? Well yes, at least temporarily. It has been found that the experience of traveling may add to your happiness in two ways. Firstly, through direct effects of the holiday trip itself and there three points of pleasure peaks. The anticipation of the trip, the experience of the trip itself, and the post trip afterglow. Secondly, indirect elements such as recalling memories through photos or souvenirs, impressions, and new meanings through social networks that can elicit sparks of pleasure and nostalgia. That being said, pleasure is notoriously fleeting. In addition, despite the happiness felt during each period of the travelling process, you may still left wanting more. As we know, the post trip afterglow does not last forever, and despite having a great time after the getaway, you are likely to return to your initial happiness baseline.
On a personal level, l had the fortune to travel throughout the world, but not to the level of many. Travelling for some is a big part of their lives and for many others its something they would like to do but cannot afford to or are restricted by many other reasons. Thus, the visualization or the realization of a destination or the vision of one is something that once you learn and train yourself how to do…it may not be the real trip, but it can help both mentally and physically. It might sound counterintuitive to combine visualization and meditation but after all, meditation is all about letting thoughts come and go rather than consciously directing them towards a particular result.
When you visualize, you focus on something specific – an event, in this case a trip you always wanted to take – and hold it in your mind, imagining your outcome becoming reality. Visualization is a mindfulness technique on its own, but you can also use it to enhance regular meditation. Adding visualization into your meditation mix allows you to better direct your relaxed mind toward specific outcomes that you would like to see especially that trip or that resort you always wanted to visit. This simple yet effective technique will help you in more ways and give you a little pleasure amongst a crazy world especially today.
The time is now… the last two years have been very depressing, and the shutdown has tied many of us down. But this is the time to start moving and thinking about taking that trip or trips that you have always wanted to take. When you really reflect on these past two years and the effects that Covid-19 has had on civilization… regardless of your age, we have all lost two years of our lives, which can never be recovered.
So, take that deep breath and say yes to that trip.
Think l will book my trip to Hawaii….
Aloha….A hui hou…. until we meet again.