Travel as Therapy

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This is one of the lovely hostels we were staying in during our travels in Thailand (loog choob). The beautiful, modernistic, open architecture was a breath of fresh air and helped me organise my thoughts after weeks of hectic, confusing life in Hong Kong. Holidays aren’t only for fun as far as I’m concerned. Travel can also play a critical role in helping us to grow in our personalities. I read an extremely interesting article written by The School of Life about that notion and I’d love to share bits and pieces of it with you while I’m having some travel experiences in Thailand over Christmas myself.

Travel can function as a form of therapy in our lives. When it corrects the imbalances and immaturities of our natures it can complement to the ‘inner journey’ that we’re on. After all we’re trying to develop our character in a certain way: “We might be searching for how to be calmer or how to find a way to rethink our goals, we might long for a greater sense of confidence or an escape from debilitating feelings of envy.” Travel experiences can help us with that, the outer journey can assist us with the inner one.

But in order to work a therapeutic effect, we need to change how we go about choosing our destinations. Instead of choosing a ‘beach holiday’ or ‘outdoor fun’, we should look how a destination can nurture our soul. “There are places that could help with shyness and others with anxiety. Some places might be good at reducing egoism and others might be good for helping us think more clearly about the future”.

The School of Life is currently writing a Psychological Atlas of the world. A great project if you you ask me. Read more about it here. Travel in the outer world can push us to where we need to go within. Happy Christmas travels, hopefully it gives you some opportunity to think which direction you want to go in 2015 (figuratively speaking:)). 

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Creative Travels

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Ohh how I love new places and great paper products. This Journey Journal presents the best of both worlds.¬†Especially the front of the Journal is totally awesome. It features a map of Asia in which you can place the round fasteners (6) that come with your journal, on your destinations! But it doesn’t end there my friends…string is also included so you can make a line map of your travel plans. How cool is that! Designed and made with love and an adventurous mind by Cracked Design. Check out their Etsy shop before you plan your next trip.

Creative Travel Toolkit

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When I travel I always come home with loads of ideas, projects and inspiration and I’m sure I’m not the only one.¬†Distance and Difference are two keys to creativity. It’s interesting to see that even research says so. Students who lived abroad, are more likely to solve a complicated computer problem than those who didn’t and… It’s not hard to see why.

Traveling or living in a different culture makes us realize that a single thing can have multiple meanings, that there are different ways to interpret the world. For example: leaving some food on your plate is considered polite in China. It shows that the host provided more than enough for his guests. In the Netherlands it’s not polite at all to NOT finnish your meal, it implies that you didn’t like the food. Apart from giving different perspectives, traveling makes us more creative because we have to improvise a lot (am I in the right train?, do I have to tip the waiter?). Even getting the right bus tickets can be an adventure in itself (last year in Vietnam that took us a whole day;-)). We’re totally disconnected from our daily routine, which makes us more inventive.

This week I met so many people with exciting travel plans for Chinese New Year, and with a little road trip in Australia to look forward to myself, I made a small travelkit to create, write and start new projects on the road. A way to make sure that I’ll come home inspired, to the max. Do you have more ‘tools’ that should be in this creative travelkit? Let me know, I’m packing this wednesday;-)