On a sunny Monday afternoon at Heathrow last summer, I found myself gazing out of a plane window feeling like the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders and dropped into the palm of my hands ready to be explored. A moment which usually would be accompanied by a bundle of anxiety (I hate lift off) felt like a complete release. It was the purest moment, and I still remember it so clearly now.
The past few years had been rough and those last few months had been rougher. I hadn’t had a day off from work and/or university in almost three months. I was living most of my week in the South of England and then coming back up to London on the weekends – cramming in whatever uni work I had to do on trains and alone in hotel rooms. I barely saw any of my friends and I was still really haunted by a recent breakup. My life was literally making me ill. A few great things had happened so far that year, but most of it made me feel good only temporarily. I just felt jaded by everything and I needed to make some unavoidable decisions and changes.
My last assignment had come and gone and then the final day of my internship arrived. It was the hottest day of the summer and my train back to London was cancelled so I had to catch a four hour bus which was two hours late; I had officially reached the ‘FUCK THIS’ moment in life – if there was a table in front of me I would have flipped it and tried to set it on fire.
Fast forward two days on and I’m dragging my suitcase through the underground with my mum and this time it wasn’t for work but for pleasure! The next few weeks I did a lot of thinking, drinking, reflecting, exploring and getting to know new people. It was the best remedy for coming to terms with all the rubbish that had gone on back home. I think when you find yourself in a foreign country gazing up at a blanket of stars you kind of realise how tiny you and your problems are in this big world.
When I arrived home, it wasn’t as if my life had completely evolved and I found myself content, I just started to view situations from a different perspective and really think about what I wanted from life. Changing your surroundings, weather that be with a weekend away with friends, a two week holiday or a six month solo adventure, can have a positive affect that lasts beyond the span of your trip. And can be deeply cleansing for the right person and the right situation.
But if travel really isn’t your thing, I hope you chase whatever it is that does make you feel good and helps you heal.