How Travel Can Help With the Grieving Process

Recently we had to deal with a loss of a relative so naturally, it got me and my partner talking about all the topics related to grieving. We discussed what we would do in case something happened to the other one. Both of us agreed that we would go on a solo trip to clear up the mind and give it some time.

Of all the difficulties we’ll go through in life, none are as difficult to bear as grieving for a deceased loved one or for a broken heart. Nothing seems to make sense. The world has been turned upside down, and the everyday routine becomes a series of low emotions that carry on sinking. While everyone has their own way of dealing with the loss of a loved one, one method that isn’t as widely suggested as it should be is to go travelling. When I had my first heart break, I moved to another country and it turned out to bet one of the best decisions in my life that eventually opened up my eyes and helped to fall in love with traveling and photography. There are plenty of benefits to getting out of your head and into an adventure when you’re trying to come to terms with the death of a loved one or to heal a broken heart.


Out of the Rut

Sometimes, home comforts are welcome. At others, they can feel like a pit of despair. When you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one, you can spend your days going through the motions at work and your evenings sitting in uncomfortable silence at your home. It makes you go through old conversations and events in your mind over and over again. It leaves you wondering ‘but what if…’ So you end up hearting yourself again and again. But. When you’re travelling, you remove those numbing actions. You’re forced out of the rut you’ve developed for yourself; indeed, when you’re on the road, there’s no way to get into a rut. It’ll be all about moving forward. And so it should be. And so it happened to me when I had moved to Norway, I was so busy trying to learn the language, to get used to a new job and building new friendships. It does not heal your heart right away, but it certainly does help.


Handling Logistical Matters

If you want to get out of your head, then you need something to do. And when it comes to travelling, you’ll never be short of things to do. Every day, you’ll have to take care of logistical matters, such as how to get from A to B or where you’re going to stay that night. While these distractions won’t actively help you to overcome the loss of a loved one, they will prevent you from sitting around and wallowing in sadness. You’ll have moments for reflection, but won’t be able to be in a permanent state of thought. Plus you are going to meet new people every day which means that each person you meet will teach you some lesson which can help to make sense of what has happened and help you see a brighter future.


Where No-One Knows Your Name

Your friends and family are most likely always there for you. When a loved one has passed away, they’ll be on hand to make sure you have everything you need and that you’re coping well. As lovely as this is, it can sometimes be a little overboard. It can lock you into forever trying to convince people that you’re OK, or ensure that you’re forever fielding phone calls from well-meaning friends and relatives. When you’re on the road, this problem quickly disappears. There, no-one knows your name. You don’t have to tell anyone why you’re travelling if you don’t want to. While you’ll want to re-enter the fold eventually, spending a couple of weeks in your own company and talking with strangers can be therapeutic. 


Space to Think Big

If there’s one thing that travelling is good for, it’s thinking big. You’re going to be in a world of grief, but from time to time, you may see your loss in the context of a much bigger perspective. It might be when you’re watching a sunset, or otherwise looking over a magical view, but you’ll find a sense of life and death that makes things more bearable. And this is something that cannot be staged and forced on you. It is just one of those things that happen on their own. 

“The most important thing is transforming our minds, for a new way of thinking, a new outlook: we should strive to develop a new inner world.”

– Dalai Lama

Here is to a brighter future!


Read more articles:

netherlands page_Iceland People in Latvia

3 thoughts on “How Travel Can Help With the Grieving Process

  1. Great sound advice… in March I lost my mum and that bought back the grieving process of when I lost my dad 30 years ago. And I found by going out and about… it helps you to have some form of normal life. A life away from grief. To put it bluntly.. it takes your mind off of what has just happened.. because you are preoccupied with travelling. Everyone grieves differently but I found photography and travelling were my savouiors.

    As much as you don’t want to forget about what has happened… the brain being preoccupied stops you from dwelling on what has happened. And brings you some form of happiness if only it is short-lived.

    I would love my mum back… even for 5 minutes… but I know deep down she would be angry with me if I didn’t get on with my life.


    • Thank you for sharing! 🙂 I am always amazed by how strong can people actually be. For me it is also traveling and photography that goes hand in hand with the grieving process.

      All the best wishes for you!

      Liked by 1 person

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