What is Travel for?
‘I need a holiday,’ is possibly the most popular thought that pops into our head when the stress of routine living takes its toll on our mind and body. The idea is that a holiday would help us recharge our batteries so we can come back in a better state of mind to carry on with living our lives. For most of us, the response to this is repeating what I call the ‘holiday habit’. This often involves travelling to a place we have been to so many times, and might even own a holiday home in or have accommodating relatives. More often than not, the process starts off rather pleasantly due to our expectations and anticipation of the escape, but then all too sudden we are at the end of the line, sinking in melancholy as we count down the last days till we are back to our daily routine.
When the holiday is over, we return to the life that seems all the more melancholy because, more than anything else, we wish the holiday would never end. So really, the purpose of the escape has been defeated. We have merely taken a break only to come back with the same state of mind we escaped in the first place. This is because while we are often aware that we need a break because something is wrong with us, we hardly pay any attention to what exactly it is we are trying to fix with the holiday. It isn’t uncommon for lots of Nigerians to flock to London as a holiday destination. Considering that Lagos and London are both metropolitan cities, and so London may not exactly be the ideal holiday destination to allow us meditate in a state of calm that we haven’t been able to find at home in Lagos. We end up repeating a cycle of hustling and bustling in a different city, rushing for trains and tripping over consumers for summer sales, only to come back just as stressed as we were before we ever left.
Understandably, there is a feeling of safety attached to the familiar. It can be stressful contemplating how to navigate new environments, managing language barriers and other such situations presented by visiting unfamiliar territories. This notwithstanding, it is important to analyze what unresolved psychological and emotional situations might be pushing us towards the idea that we need a holiday, then picking a holiday destination to stand the best chance of resolving the issue and coming back to our daily lives rejuvenated from the holiday instead of paradoxically returning exhausted.
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