When personal problems arise and the stresses of life start to become overwhelming, our first reaction can be to escape and run away as far as possible from our issues. As human beings, our body’s response is to fight or flight – to face the problem or turn away from it. So, using traveling as a coping mechanism is a common way for us to escape our negative emotions and ‘deal with them later’ – but this is never the most productive and successful way for us to combat stress.
Here’s why traveling shouldn’t be used as an escape, and what you should do instead.
It’ll only be a temporary fix
Running away to paradise gives us a false interpretation of what reality is – unless you fully migrate, you’ll always have to return to the true reality you left in the first place. You may feel like you have left your responsibilities behind, but unless you face them head-on beforehand, they’ll always be there waiting for you when you come back home. Travelling is just a temporary pain-reliever, and it won’t solve anything.
It’s just a distraction
Everyone should travel the world at some point. It’s a rite of passage that you should relish when the time feels right. However, if you decide to travel when you’re at a low point with lots of troubling problems to deal with, then your time away will only work as a distraction – your problems might even be a detriment to your enjoyment. Go when you’re at your happiest instead – this way, you will get the most out of your experience. Being in a new environment may be good for your soul for a while, but the progress you think you’re making isn’t entirely the truth.
You need to face the pain
The problems you’re experiencing back home need to be faced at some point. You can’t run away forever. Instead of jetting off to a false sense of happiness, it’s best you deal with your problems, right here, right now. You’ll be forced to take great steps out of your comfort zone, but this will only make you grow in strength and as a person. In order to move forward, sometimes we need to take a few steps back – but traveling is only taking a step to the side out of the way.
There’s more productive things you can do
Instead of running away, be productive! Look inside yourself to seek a solution rather than looking around you. The answers to happiness will always be within yourself, no matter how much it may seem like happiness lies elsewhere. Sure, relaxing on a tropical beach is a great temporary fix, but a real personal breakthrough will only happen when we search inwards to our own sense of self-being, not outwards towards ‘nice things’ that won’t always be there.
Seek help from others instead
There’s plenty of other options that will make your journey to happiness faster and easier – traveling only prolongs your turmoil. It may numb the pain for a while, but your troubles will always return – sometimes they’ll be even bigger than they were before. Instead, use the time to focus on yourself back home, around the people who love and know you the most. Seek advice and support from familiar people willing to help, instead of searching for comfort in a strange environment that you don’t know.
You’re bound to get the travel bug at some point, but you need to ensure that it’s the right time. Exploring the world is a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, but you’ll only reap the benefits if you’re in the right place mentally.