Travel has always played a significant role in my own life and been an integral part of my identity. More recently, finances, motherhood, and the myriad adult responsibilities have limited opportunity to travel. Through the contrast presented by this hiatus, I have recognized the life-giving role of my wanderlust and begun to understand its purpose in more depth. As I’ve reflected on the deeper value of exploring the world, I’ve become intrigued by the idea of travel therapy as an adjunct to traditional talk therapy.
In my experience, the therapeutic value of travel is manifold: Navigating unfamiliar terrain—airports, new cities, novel cultures–increases flexible thinking and decreases rigidity. Any destination, from a neighboring town to a different continent, can provide alternative perspective and thus, opportunity for a new relationship with food, body, and even physical beauty. Travel increases opportunity for connection, both to people and to history, effectively decreasing one’s sense of isolation. The recognition that the furthest destination on earth is a mere plane ride away makes the world seem smaller and more accessible. With distance, the magnified importance of daily problems and routines can shrink to a more manageable size. Service or volunteer opportunities can shift and broaden focus and increase one’s sense of purpose and place in the world. Encountering and navigating through inevitable obstacles increases self-confidence and awareness of one’s full capabilities.
There is so much richness to be found in breaking from the familiar and the routine. Being able to offer these valuable experiences to clients—to effectively combine my two great loves—is an exhilarating idea and one which again, quickens my pulse. Stay tuned for updates.