Wanderlust and Depression, let’s break down those words. Wanderlust….a strong desire to travel + Depression – depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. You think that those two words wouldn’t go hand in hand. As a child growing up in a mixed family, I have always had family all over the world. I also grew up in a military household so traveling has always been a part of my life. Wanderlust was something I learned from my parents at a young age and is something that I live for. Unfortunately, there are some downsides to these strong wanderlust feelings for me that may at times lead me to depression.
Wanderlust and Depression
When I was 17 years old, I had lost my mother to a long and tireless battle against cancer. She did what she could to fight it, but the cancer was so far along that it took over her entire body. Watching my mother battle this disease was a struggle for me, it was hard to see that there was nothing that I could do to make her better. She has taught me a lot in my life including how short and precious life can be.
My mother, my hero, exposed me to my wanderlust desire and has always pushed me to achieve every aspect of my goal. She had traveled the world, exploring hidden areas bold and confidently. My mom and I would often look over old travel photos taken from her trips many years ago, which would bring sparks to her eyes every time she had a new story to tell me of her travels. She was so open to life, culture, food, and so much more. She could see the great in every aspect, remaining positive even when things were rough. I have always desired to be just like her, to be floaty, romantic, positive, bold and confident. Thankfully, I have become very similar to her, however, losing her made life difficult.
Traveling has been helpful in my transformation of overcoming my states of depression.
Traveling = Therapy & Self Discovery
For me traveling meant visiting friends and family from all over the world. It brought me so much joy to see the people I love and explore new areas together. Leaving that wanderlust, leaving that location of happiness and joy often lead me to depression and sadness. Until I planned my next trip, my next adventure to look forward to, sometimes that depression would eat at me. I feel in my search of wanderlust, that I am always trying to search for something that will complete me, something that will make me feel whole again, which I feel when I travel. Unfortunately, those feelings become lost or torn away from me when I return to my empty apartment.
Since most of my family does live overseas, I have no family to come back to. I do have my friends, and they are amazing, but I am always feeling some sort of void. I am not sure if it is my body and mind searching for my mother or if its just that sense of adventure and the imagination is gone and reality hits when work, bills and responsibilities return. Although the depression can hit, it can also bring joy to talk about the locations I have been to, to inform people of my travels, and help others plan their next trip. Traveling helps me to self-evaluate my life.
The best cure
What I love most about travel is the rush and that it gives you a sense of life again even when you feel down. For me personally, the best cure for depression, a breakup, death, etc. is traveling the world. Although, this can sometimes only be a temporary fix. Sometimes when work or life takes over, you forget about you and taking care of yourself. Traveling is the best way to conquer some amazing bucket lists, overcome fears, and become open to the world around you.
If traveling is not something you are used to but have always wanted to get involved in. It will always provide you with a sense of adventure. It turns you into a storyteller and it is a great way to gain amazing memories, which can never be forgotten.
Traveling does not Judge
“If you want to SOAR in life, you must first learn how to F.L.Y. (First Love Yourself)” – Mark Sterling. Traveling is a great way to fall in love with yourself all over again. It helps to learn about your likes and dislikes and encourages you to accept you for who you really are. It gives you the confidence to explore, wander, discover, and so much more. When you love yourself, you love everything else around you so much more.
Although depression is not merely something that can be solved, there are times when you may still feel depressed while traveling. Depression is something that each individual has different coping mechanisms to overcome.
How do you deal with Depression and Wanderlust? Leave your comments below.
DISCLAIMER: Oftentimes you will find that I’ve included links to certain hotels/tours/products/services. If you purchase anything through these links, I’ll receive a commission. It won’t cost you anything extra, but it will help keep this blog up and running.