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Mental Health and Tourism

July 13, 2020
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In order to stay safe from the pandemic – COVID-19, mankind has to adapt to an altogether new lifestyle, which dominantly requires us to stay at home as much as possible. Despite all the efforts to stay productive at home, we have all been missing our distant loved ones, outings, and traveling. 

I strongly acknowledge the volatile nature of the tourism sector since it has always experienced a bust and boom, and this time is no different. Once leisure travel is back, it shall be back at its position again. Being confined to just one place for a long time is going to develop the urge among us to take the much-needed break and explore other places. 

While traveling is excitement and thrill, it is much more than sipping margaritas on a beach and capturing photogenic sunsets. Travelling promotes happiness and acts as a therapy for your “trapped” mindset. This leads to lower cortisol levels making you feel calm and content. Exploring a new place on your own or with a bunch of like-minded people will surely have a remarkable impact on your emotional well-being. Immersing yourself in and connecting with a new and unusual environment will not only break the monotony but also diminish the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Hence, it makes sense to incorporate calmness in different chaos. 

When we feel low, guilty, or undeserving of many things, we tend to be apologetic to ourselves for being who we had been. In such cases, you need self-motivation to rise again. Travelling acts as an act of self-care. Travelling can refresh your sense of independence when you come across culture shocks & language barriers, although you will always receive welcoming hospitality. Stepping out of your comfort zone also builds resilience, making you feel confident so that you can cope better in all kinds of situations. Travel professionals do come up with theme-based tourism as per your interest. New Zealand is a perfect getaway for the adrenaline junkies. Dubai is a great destination for shopaholics, and Paris is for the all-romantic couples. Cruise is best for those who wish to sail and pamper their senses. Many destinations are promoting themselves as gastronomic heaven for the inquisitive taste buds. Also, engaging with other tourists on locals lead to meaningful interactions and friendships. 

While traveling alone is worthwhile, traveling with your loved ones can be rewarding in its own way. Not just that, it will help you build a stronger bond but also lessen the emotional distancing if occurring otherwise. The most relatable example could be from the Bollywood movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.’ The three friends had been living in surface happiness until they realized the depth of hollowness about their own selves on the trip. They could shed their respective fears and experienced catharsis in accomplishing them. The trip also allowed them to get through each other’s shells, being vocal of their feelings, understand each other, and be forgiving. Hence, getting to spend time with your loved ones in a distant place can help you discover the positive sides which you had been ignoring so far. 

I have penned down in order to portray the indomitable spirit of every one of us who are staying and trying to stay strong in these difficult times and also the travel and hospitality professionals who are waiting with their hospitable, open arms to help you rejuvenate your mental health.

Vindhya Pandey