Don't escape it. Travel with your mental health.
A mental disorder. Not only do I hate that word, it simply shouts for criticism. That is why I wanted to avoid my imperfections. My why? There is a big stigma around the topic of Mental Health. I could’t be anxious or sad because it wasn’t “allowed”. That is why I figuratively hid my feelings in a box and wrote them in big letters on the box: “NEVER OPEN THIS BOX”. Until my box became too full and everything exploded.
I didn’t know what to do with this enormous abundance of emotions and wanted to escape from reality. As a result, I clung to my only passion that was left over by my depression: traveling. I have been able to escape over the years. But always for a short moment.
So I decided to travel together with my feelings. My first solo trip was to Vienna, Austria. Without any preparation, this was one of the toughest trips ever. Since I didn’t want to give up traveling, I tried to make another solo trip a year later with my own imperfections in mind. Eventually this became one of my best trips that I have ever been able to make.
Why I decide to travel
Some like drawing, eating, filling in Sudoku’s and watching television. Others do sports or watch Netflix. While I also enjoy these activities, I don’t want to dedicate my life to them. I have been struggling with my demons for years. Although I only saw negative aspects of this in the past, it did help me to indicate my priorities. I like to travel and I don’t intend to lose this passion through my depression and fears.
Hard, that’s about it. I am constantly being tested and that is no different when traveling. Contrary to what others think, those ‘thoughts’ do not go away on a journey. Many think that traveling is a kind of panacea that you do once and hops you are healed. Unfortunately it isn’t. I don’t think travel is a panacea, but rather a means to help you heal. Travel, alone isn’t the only therapy, but it helps me to put everything in a different perspective.
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