Sarah Tucker, an award-winning travel journalist, novelist, producer and broadcaster, writes about emotional benefits of travel. In addition to her other books, including Have Baby Will Travel and Have Toddler Will Travel, her most recent book is all about the deeper meaning we can get from travel.
Valuing the best of other cultures through travel is now recognised as a positive life experience. It is the emotional impact of other cultures on our psyche that has most interested me over the past three years. Our pace of life leaves few opportunities for family or me time; time that helps our sanity. I learned that travel can act as a form of alternative therapy and rid us of emotional baggage.
Travel is not only about seeing and doing. It’s therapy in a fast-paced world where nobody is allowed to breathe.
In writing Have Teenager Will Travel I realised the positive impact that travel could have on teenage self-esteem and identity. Could it do the same for the rest of the population?
I started to investigate if travel could be a medicine, a cure for emotional baggage, managing the anger, loneliness and heartbreak.
I spent three years with a clinical psychologist investigating the psychology of travel and its emotional impact on our well-being. I explored how travel helps us deal with emotional baggage such as loneliness, anger, heartbreak, depression, impatience and issues such as jealousy, greed, laziness, envy and lack of focus.
In writing The A to Zen of Travel, I worked with Professor Edward de Bono, who originated the term “lateral thinking”. Using his lateral thinking techniques, I show why and how specific journeys and cultures change the way people feel and think about themselves, rather than just focusing on the ephemeral ‘see and do’ of guide books and travel narratives. In the forward, de Bono explains the value to choosing holidays not soley based on the destination but on how it improves self esteem, confidence and identity.
As he says on the back of the book, “You will never choose a holiday the same way again.” I hope so.
The A to Zen of Travel is out now.
Woman on boat image via Shutterstock.