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.

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.

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
Beyond Blue
The Mighty
If you need someone to talk to 

1800 650 890
SANE Australia
1800 18 7263

New Zealand

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand



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


0800 376 633


0800 726 666

Suicide & Depression Hotline – Covenant House
NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group
United Kingdom 
0845 766 0163
Anxiety UK
08444 775 774



Fast Facts about Mental Illness



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