TRAVEL AND MENTAL HEALTH – TRAVEL EXPERTS INSIGHTS
Deciding to take on an Adventure when you are battling a mental disorder is not a walk in the park. You spend sleepless nights overthinking. You procrastinate. Is leaving my comfort zone really worth it? What if the plane crash? What if I get eaten by a lion? Endless what-ifs.
If Adventure is what you are yearning for, it’s best you face your fears and go for it. Do not feed your fears.
On my first Safari, I suffered a massive anxiety attack. The small Safari Flight took off and everything was smooth until we were up there and suddenly there was a terrifying enormous turbulence. It was a point of no return; I mean I was already up in the sky so I couldn’t possibly ask the pilot to let me hop off. The panic kicked in, my hands got all sweaty. Nevertheless, we arrived Safely.
Upon arrival in a camp, we did a boat cruise down the Okavango Delta and it was quite relaxing until we saw hippos and the first thought was, what if they capsize the boat and I drown?
The next morning we embarked on a liberating journey, absolutely mind-blowing. The adrenaline rush was exhilarating. A walking Safari. We took a boat to a nearby island in the middle of the Delta and walked into the Island. It was a long soothing walk until we were surrounded by a herd of Elephants. My knees got weak, I could literally hear my heart beating and it was choking me. During that exact moment, I stopped taking pictures and had my supposedly last prayer. The Gentle Giants are not so gentle in if we are getting real. That was my first thought.
I could almost picture tragic news headlines. The thing with your mind is it will run wild and that was definitely not the right time. Our Guide was very calm and he asked us to remain calm as well. One of the most integral lessons I learned on Safari is to trust your Guide and respect him/her. You might have watched a thousand of wildlife documentaries but they co-exist with animals, they understand their behavior better. We made it back to the lodge alive.
Upon arrival in camp, I had a moment to reflect. Would it be so hard to Be Present and Mindful? That’s where we finally get to experience intentional living about mindfulness. I spent most of my time thinking about what could go wrong instead of actually enjoying and appreciating the beauty around me. We are all going to die anyway so we might as well enjoy the present and live life to the fullest. After all Worry and Anxiety do not prevent unfortunate circumstances. If anything, they manifest them. Finally, I discovered an antidote for my trepidation. Safari.