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5 Unique Ways To Avoid Depression On The Road

by Emily Dilling Jun 16, 2008
What’s travel without a little laughter? Beat the blues with these unique on the road tips.

Whether suffering from homesickness or culture shock, jet lag or entourage ennui, the traveler’s life is not always as happy as vacation photos might make it seem.

Hitting a few rough patches along the way is natural and to be expected as you globe trot.

Just because you’re having exciting adventures and visiting beautiful places doesn’t mean that every day will be exciting and memorable.

Here are a few unique suggestions that are guaranteed to make your travails a little happier.

1. Listen to Cheesy Music

I know you have it. I do. Put on your headphones, and experience the magical healing powers that Earth, Wind, and Fire, Huey Lewis and the News, and Phil Collins can have on a case of the grumpies.

While traveling, you rarely get the time to dance in their underwear to TLC’s “Creep” while getting ready for a night out, or belt out Queen lyrics in your singing-in-the-car voice. Well, it’s up to you to make the time.

So put on some Pete Townsend and let his music open the door to your heart and a better mood.

2. Stream Some Psychotherapy

The nascence of live streaming and podcasts on the Internet has revolutionized the way we can treat homesickness. These wonders of technology bring your home to you with the aid of an Internet connection.

Radio shows and news broadcasts not only permit the listener to enjoy a nice dose of refreshingly easy to understand English, but updates from the home front can also help you realize that your native land is still there and will be waiting for you when you get back.

Plus, there’s the instant mood boost that comes from catching the weather forecast predicting thunderstorms and humidity in your hometown as you’re basking in the blue skies and sunshine of somewhere exotic.

3. See A Hollywood Movie

I officially absolve you of all guilt associated with seeing a Hollywood blockbuster or checking out your fetish filmmaker’s newest film while you’re in a foreign land.

You are allowed to take a night off from sightseeing and sampling local flavor if you’re starting to get burnt out. Like podcasts, films can put you back into an English-speaking environment once again as well as give a window into your native culture.

Sometimes a cinematic experience is all it takes to revive your spirits and sense of adventure. Don’t deprive yourself of necessary respites along the way.

4. Enjoy The Silence

If you’re not staying in a bustling urban environment and don’t have access to technological audio-visual aids to distract yourself from your melancholy, you’ll have to be more creative about getting out of the doldrums.

On a hiking trip through the Alps one summer I experienced my fair share of grueling days. On the most physically and mentally exhausting ones, the only thing that helped me was simply shutting off my mind.

It’s true what Milton said, “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.”

Don’t let your mind make things more hellish – instead, revel in the meditative moments that come when one is surrounded by wide-open spaces. Don’t think about the past or the present. Don’t think at all. Just be quiet.

5. Get Metaphysical

I learned this tactic in Italy as I was lost and trying to find my hostel before it was too late to check in.

In my clearly stressed-out state, I paused to check the address. Completely absorbed in my quest, I raised my head to see a man standing in front of me, offering a piece of Italian candy in an attempt to alleviate my agony.

Almost immediately, my frustration evaporated. I realized in that moment that the true treasures of travel are these moments, often unexpected, which can swing you through the tough times until you can grab onto the next one.

Lastly, remember that most negative experiences are the funniest stories you’ll tell when you get home. Think about what an entertaining party guest your tales will make you!

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