Life presents lots of stresses and anxieties for most people. I have experienced my fair share of stress and anxiety in the past 21 years of breathing. Travelling and going on holidays is obviously a stress relief for tens of thousands of people and its clear to see why; sitting on a beach, with no worries and no commitments. On top of being a huge emotional relief from our daily lives, venturing out to different countries has an educational benefit. As you see different things, meet hundreds of new people, you take in your surroundings and absorb information from many different cultures, you learn how prejudices can be wrong and you can be trusting at the same time as being cautious.
Another advantage of travel is that it can massively boost your confidence, booking and organising your own itinerary. It gives you a sense of independence and helps with other parts of your life. Seeing different parts of the world and how other people live, for example, the different economic situations of countries like USA and Asia, makes you really appreciate where you come from and makes you realise how lucky you are to be born into a stable life.
It may be narrow minded of me but I struggle to understand people who do not want to experience new and strange places and experience different cultures just to see what life is like for people in different parts of the world and in different economic situations. Coming from Blackpool and seeing all the deprivation in this small seaside town, I was still shocked on my recent trip to Asia and seeing the poverty in Bangkok, it was especially shocking just to see how people lived in what I would call ‘complete poverty’ but they considered normal. Seeing this however, did make me feel very lucky to be from where I am from, but it also made me feel very sad, as there is such a contrast of wealth, with the ‘grand palace’ covered in gold and clearly a very expensive building, whilst 10 minutes away people are living in tin houses and using the river for the toilet. Travelling really does open your eyes too things going on in the world, even in Europe with the refugee crisis. If you travel to somewhere like France or in my case when I visited Vienna, you really notice the sheer amount of homeless refugees. It gives you some perspective on your life and peoples life around you, when living on the streets of Vienna is an upgrade from their home, in somewhere like Syria.
I am not preaching some ideology about why everyone should be a ‘free spirit hippie’ and go travelling with a backpack, staying in hostels. But I really do feel strongly that exploration and seeing how people live in different parts of the world is incredibly important for the social education of a person. Having an open mind is incredibly important for acceptance and by visiting places who have various beliefs that you may not agree with, is the perfect way of becoming unprejudiced, as you see how they live and how and why they follow their particular beliefs. Being a student nurse, working in health care and probably spending the rest of my life working in hospitals, it is important for me to put prejudices aside. I believe that by visiting so many different cultures and just talking to people that have such different beliefs than I do, and seeing how and where they live, has definitely improved my ability to become more of a compassionate and open minded person, both in work and my home life.
To all who think about taking trips but make excuses or are nervous, I just say to you, book it now. Book it cheap and all in hostels or book it for comfort, but I plead for people to travel anywhere, it will help calm your mind whilst expanding it. Travel is the best therapy I have ever had (and I am very experienced with therapy) it is the only one that I can recommend to everyone and anyone that needs that little break, or feels like they are bored and feeling down about anything. Even if your okay, just go somewhere.