How Travel Saved My Sanity

by Brianna Krueger / Jun 10, 2017 /
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At 26, I never thought I’d have a breakdown, but I did. A combo of heartbreak and being overworked did the trick. The two happened so quickly and simultaneously it felt like I was pushed off a speeding bike, or like the rug had been swept from under my feet, leaving me to fall nowhere. Everything was exhausting, and the motions were just being done, life wasn’t being lived; I felt like a zombie. Not even weekends could refresh me.

As days turned into weeks turned into months, it didn’t get better. To many, it sounds dramatic. “Just get over it, already!” or “Try having my job and seeing how stressful it is.” Yeah… Because it’s as simple as turning off a light switch and you’re over it, or like I’m suddenly not overworked just because someone else has more. I was drowning in plain sight and no one knew.

There were slight changes: a dramatic weight loss, negative attitude shift, and a disinterest in everything. But for the most part, I masked it, because I didn’t want to be having a breakdown. Plus I was tired of talking about it all; surely, those I talked to about it were bored of the topic – even I was sick of it myself – but little did they know just how much it was getting to me.

At work, I’d count the minutes till I could leave and just do nothing, but at home, I’d count the minutes till I went back to work and had a way to distract my mind. Nothing ever made me happy, not even as I slowly got over my breakup or pushed through my workload. I was still mentally absent, bobbing just above the water. I needed a break – more than two or three days. I needed a vacation.

A whole week away from work, my apartment, and the monotonous life I’d become accustomed to, in a warm sunny state is exactly what the doctor should have ordered me months prior, because it broke my spell. Travel saved my sanity.

How Travel Saved My Sanity

My vacation on the surface was nothing spectacular. Poolside lounging with vodka tonics, scenic hiking routes, and quality time with family (and our dog). Simple yet enjoyable, and totally the relaxation my mind needed… from myself.

How Travel Saved My Sanity

Perhaps it was the alcohol. Perhaps it was seeing the sun for the first time in months. Perhaps it was the change in scenery. Perhaps time had healed my wounds. Perhaps it was the vacation in general. Perhaps it was escaping responsibilities and reality. All I know is the vacation saved me: I left feeling more like myself than I had in months, and the zombie that had been operating me had left the building.

The fix was so simple - granted, a bit expensive, but completely worth it. My mind became refreshed and happier. 

Prior to the trip, I was certain I was going to crack and quit on the spot if one more proposal dared to come my way. Coming back to work, I felt more at ease and like I wasn’t Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall, and when a few proposals came at me, I was mentally ready. Every part of me was ready to get back in the game and get back to my interests. Life was no longer composed of minutes to distract myself; they were minutes to live in a blur and pay no attention to because I was enjoying it.

At 26 and in the midst of a breakdown, I never thought I’d get out, but I did. Travel saved my sanity, and it could save yours. Mental health is no joke, and shouldn’t be ignored. I was silly and stupid to ignore my own for so long because the fix was desperately needed… and only a plane flight away.

How Travel Saved My Sanity

Getting away helps refresh one’s self and makes you happier – it’s a scientific fact. Now go put in a PTO request for vacation – your sanity will thank you. 

How Travel Saved My Sanity

 

 

Brianna Krueger is the Chief Editor for Wandering Educators

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Brianna Krueger

 

 

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