Healing through travel: Elizabeth Gilbert’s story

Taking a year off to travel is something that inspires envy in the best of us. But few envy Elizabeth Gilbert’s reasons for travelling — heartbroken and depressed after a bitter divorce and a failed relationship, she hightailed it to Italy to learn Italian and eat pizza, then to India to do yoga and pray, then to Indonesia to find herself. Then she wrote it all down and made a best-selling book of her adventures, and while I try not buy into hype, I read it feverishly from cover to cover, intrigued and inspired.

What Gilbert got out of her travels are the kinds of things we all want to get from travelling — to meet life-long friends, to experience a new culture fully and to find ourselves through experiences that challenge us to our very core. These are the reasons so many of us pack up our things, leave the comfort of home and immerse ourselves in unfamiliar surroundings.

But is that to say you should copycat Gilbert’s travels? Not at all — each person has their own unique path, and for some, travelling isn’t the solution to a life crisis. But to those of us who were born to collect stamps on their passports? Taking time off to travel can be the cure for all that ails us.

Want to know how to take time off for travel? Click here.