Can Travel Be an Antidote to “Languishing”? | Brownell Travel

Can Travel Be an Antidote to “Languishing”?

Brownell President & CEO Troy Haas shares his thoughts on how travel can be an antidote to languishing. 

In a New York Times article by Adam Grant, he discusses the concept of “languishing”. Described as “a sense of stagnation and emptiness”, languishing falls on the mental health spectrum between depression and flourishing. Grant explains that coming out of the height of the pandemic where fear and anxiety ruled, many people are experiencing this “meh” feeling.

The solution that the author suggests may be found in enjoyable experiences, uninterrupted time, focusing on small goals, or getting into a “flow”, but I naturally wondered whether travel can be an antidote to languishing. After discussing the idea with several of our Advisors, it became clear that travel could absolutely be a remedy.

Travel brings a renewed freedom

Travel innately allows us to unplug from our day-to-day and bond with our fellow travelers as well as the destination. Whether you are experiencing something new or visiting a longtime favorite, travel gives you the freedom to recover, connect, and enjoy. It has power to renew your sense of purpose and give you a fresh perspective that can otherwise get lost in endless to-do lists and schedules back at home.

Re-awakening your senses

After months and months of staying home, I finally got to dust off my suitcase and go to Hawaii. As soon as I arrived, I felt like a dry sponge dropped in water with my senses coming alive through the sights, smells, and sounds of the island. It was the jolt of energy I didn’t realize I needed when I was going through the motions back home, and it lasted long after I landed back home.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude

Many clients have shared that they had tears of joy during their travels. They were so grateful to get back to doing what they loved with people they care about and many were even surprised at how emotional it felt to do something that was so normal prior to the pandemic. Travel can push away the gray cloud that can sit over us thanks to never-ending pressure to do more and more, and instead we can see the happiness and possibilities that the world offers us.

Pack in less, get more

Travel has all the ingredients to be an antidote to languishing; you simply must be willing to let it. It’s easy to pack your itinerary with tours, reservations, and activities, but slowing down and leaving some of your time away unscheduled is critical. I have yet to hear someone come back from a trip and say “I wish I crammed in more”.

Beyond traveling slower, it is also important to understand that travel is not the same as it was before 2020. From navigating each destination’s protocols (and how they can change at a moment’s notice) to longer planning times due to pent up demand to hotels and resorts trying to restaff after a year of being closed, the travel experience is different – but different isn’t necessarily bad. We must pack our patience and allow travel to bring the joy, energy, thankfulness, bonding, and revitalization that it always has.

If we take a step back and savor each moment of the journey, travel can in fact be one of the best antidotes to languishing. From the dreamy planning stages to experiencing the excitement of a destination, let travel reenergize and relight the spark that keeps us eager to DISCOVER MORE™.

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