There is a reason why books like “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert resonate so strongly with women. On some level, most women understand that travel may be a viable cure for what ails you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by grief and none of your other remedies are making it more manageable, then you might be a good candidate for some travel therapy. Here are three reasons why traveling when you’re grieving can make all the difference.
Help You Stop Feeling Overwhelmed
Grief causes you to feel overwhelmed. It’s difficult to maintain a positive perspective when the reminders of the past – broken relationships, pictures of deceased loved ones, etc. — remain close by. By leaving your old stomping grounds, you are giving yourself a new perspective on things.
While you will NEVER stop missing the person/people you’re doing without, you’ll slowly start to live your next chapter, as you let in new experiences. This kind of perspective gives you a new strength to face the past hurts because it adds positive new memories to your life.
It Gives You Time to Contemplate
There comes a time in every grief journey when you will face the hard stuff. Certain types of vacations, like those spent in the woods or at a meditation retreat give you the time to really contemplate your loss.
While this may not sound like your idea of a good time, it’s a very necessary part of the grieving process. You need time to figure out how to integrate this horrific experience. You’ll have new parts of yourself, byproducts of your grief. Somehow, you need to fit them in with the old parts of yourself, or you may need, or choose to, do away with many of the old parts altogether.
Knowing how to do this only comes with time and contemplation. If this is where you’re at on your grief journey, then find a place where you can write or draw in a journal, hike in the woods or sit in a coffee shop in solitude.
Do it Smart
For your travels to have a positive effect on your mental wellness, you need to travel smart. There are some things to know in order to have a safe road trip. These range from letting someone know where you’re going to putting together a self-care plan should things get to be too much for you.
For example, you may not be ready for a big trip like those that Strayed and Gilbert took, but you might do well if you take a trip to see friends who live an hour or two away. This helps you get out of your rut while still giving you a built-in support system that you can fall back on if you need to.
Traveling can help you boost your spirits and to start dealing with the grief that you’re feeling. If you’ve lost something or someone very important to you, then it’s important that you take the time to grieve. The beauty of travel as a remedy for grief is that taking time away allows you to feel your emotions without also having to deal with the responsibilities of daily life.
Mourning the loss of your husband? Maybe this will help: My Husband Died, Now What? A Widow’s Guide to Grief Recovery & Smart Financial Decisions