When Travel Did Not Make Me Happy

I have always love to travel and I often joke that when I came out into this world my first word was travel. As a young child, I went on trips with my family and often spent time planning future trips.

When I was 19 I went on a trip by myself to The Red Centre and it reinforced my love for travel as I was able to experience the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture that I learnt lots about as a kid.

My happiness for travel crushed down in 2014 when while travelling the East Coast of Australia I had a mental breakdown when I was in my hometown Gold Coast. It was truly terrifying and to say it was unexpected was not true. The 3 months before that trip I was feeling sadder than normal and it went on for longer periods of time than just one day. It was Depression rearing its head again even though I had Depression before I did not realize the warning signs that I was having it again.

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I was putting on a fake smile while I was at Mount Tamborine. 

I came back home to look after myself and got the help I needed, and I really felt that I let myself down because I didn’t enjoy that trip. It added more Depression to the already Depression I had as a young 20-year-old. I spent the next year getting help and learning strategies to put in place for my mental illnesses (Anxiety and Depression). I learnt more about who I am and what my Anxiety and Depression is because they both affect everyone differently.

Fast track two years to 2016 and I am ready to go travelling on bigger trips once more I decided to go to the UK for a few reasons firstly My Nan is from there, secondly, I had a friend over there who I met in Sydney in 2014 and thirdly the landscape is really beautiful and magical.

I set off on the plane to go there but my Mum was worried as I was not acting my normal self after my Nan died 6 months earlier and she thought I might have Depression again. I suffered extreme Jet Lag and was really tired because I could not sleep.

It was not long until I broke, and Depression came barging back into my life once more. The difference from the other trip to now was I knew how to deal with it and made the hard and expensive choice to cut my trip down to 3 weeks instead of 4. I went to my friend’s house and started to relax I did some things, but I wasn’t overly busy, and I got back into a sleeping routine.

I dealt with the Depression the best I could while I was away, but I knew when I got home that I needed to deal and get help with the Depression. So, I found a Psychologist and we really looked into my Depression, what causes it, how it affects me and what I can do to help myself cope with it. After that, I felt like I was better at coping with it and I actually had some control over it. My Psychologist told me I was in remission and that this word is used because Mental Illness can come back into your life again.

A year after that I went on another trip this time to Northern Territory, I had an enjoyable trip and I was truly happy.  I even forgot to call mum one day, which was very different from the girl that called her mum in tears more times than not on other trips.

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I took a few moments at this waterfall to reflect on how far I have come in regards to travel and mental health. 

Now I am in Spring Brook National Park on the Gold Coast four years after the 2014 trip. I am seeing Gold Coast which is my hometown with fresh eyes the way I wanted to back in 2014. I sit and reflect on the last four years I have learnt a lot about myself and I am grateful for all that has happened to me. I have discovered my love for travel once more and I can say I’m truly happy.  I do kind of agree with the “travel makes you happy” statement but I will say this you need to be somewhat happy before travel can add more happiness to that. For me, I had to get help for my Depression before I could be happy while travelling. I am so glad that I did.

Thanks for reading if you feel the way I was, there are many places and organizations that you can go to get help and support. Here are just some of them.

More Information 

Sane Australia
https://www.sane.org/
Beyond Blue
https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
The Mighty
https://themighty.com
Headspace
https://www.headspace.org.au
If you need someone to talk to 
Australia 
Headspace

1800 650 890
SANE Australia
1800 18 7263

New Zealand

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

 https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/

Lifeline

0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999 
Free text 4357 (HELP)

Youthline

0800 376 633

Samaritans

0800 726 666

USA
Suicide & Depression Hotline – Covenant House
800-999-9999
NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group
800-826-3632
United Kingdom 
Mind
0845 766 0163
Anxiety UK
08444 775 774

 

Canada

Fast Facts about Mental Illness

https://cmha.ca/about-cmha/fast-facts-about-mental-illness

 

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