Stuck in a Rut? Here’s How Travel Can Help

Let’s face it, we’ve all had those days, weeks, or even months where we feel stuck. The feeling can range from frustrating, to aimless and, even worse, hopeless. If you feel like you’re in a funk (professionally or personally) and craving something new, travel may just be the answer. Thankfully, this feeling is temporary and sometimes all we need is time to reflect, unwind, or yes—even book a cross-country trip—to get out of town and out of our heads.

While feeling stuck in a career slump for quite some time, I decided to book a trip across the country to get away and hoped it would help me clear my head. That weekend getaway did just that—and so much more.

I came back home feeling invigorated (and a little jet-lagged) with a brand new perspective on my life and the direction I wanted to take. While my story of jetting across the country, returning to quit my job and go back to school may be a little dramatic, travel can help even if you just want to come back to your life feeling refreshed and ready to take on your role in a new light. Here’s how traveling can help if you are feeling stuck. When you return home you may just find that you have clarity, confidence, and a brand new perspective.

Travel Gets You Out of the Daily Grind:

If you work 9-5 at an office, you know how real the daily grind can become. Maybe you’re a creature of habit and routine brings you a sense of comfort, but even then it can be beneficial to get out of your day-to-day routine and experience something new.

Have you ever noticed your creativity or productivity surge when you move out of the office to work outside or at a coffee shop? The environments we are in impact us more than we realize, which is especially important to be aware of if you work in an office where the energy is hectic or draining.

If you find yourself dreading the thought of another week at the office, maybe it’s time to use that vacation time you’ve been saving up and get away to a place that inspires you, or someplace new that you’ve always wanted to explore.

Be Aware of Your “Echo Chamber”:

While you may have a fabulous circle of friends, coworkers, and family that you can count on for support, it’s good to be aware of the “Echo Chamber.” The Echo Chamber is the idea that we tend to surround ourselves with people who agree with us and think like us, and so we may not be challenged to see things from another perspective.

Another way we do this is through social media—we tend to consume content or follow accounts of people who reaffirm our beliefs. This is totally normal, but sometimes when you are feeling stuck it’s helpful to be challenged a little bit on the decisions you are making and why. Nothing is better for this issue than traveling to a new city, meeting new people, and having to answer the “So, tell me about yourself?” question.

New Place, New Perspective:

When I was in the middle of making a huge life decision, I decided to fly across the country for a weekend getaway, and it was the best decision I could have made at that time. Getting out of my town, office, and comfort zone forced me to see my life from an entirely different perspective.

I went to events, met new people, wandered through museums and art galleries, and even had a very therapeutic sweat session at SoulCycle. When I came home, I had a newfound confidence that I was making the right decision. Yes, I was in NYC (which can be one of the most energizing, creative, and exciting places) but I really think the same results could come from a trip that is even just a short drive away.

Self-Care and Balance:

If you are feeling stuck or in a rut, honestly ask yourself if you have you taken the time to unplug, relax, and unwind. Burnout is real and can manifest itself in many forms. Try taking a weekend away to totally unwind, have some fun and relax. It’s amazing the perspective and clarity you can gain if you are able to take yourself away from whatever may be causing you to feel stuck. Wellness travel and retreats are big right now and could be your ticket to getting out of a funk.

Can’t afford to take a trip or running out of vacation time at work? A weekend road trip somewhere an hour or two away may be just what you need to rest, recharge, have some fun, and return with a fresh perspective on life.

By Mercey Livingston: Mercey is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi where she earned a degree in journalism and public relations. She covers fitness for Well+Good. When she’s not trying out new workout classes, you can find her reading, listening to podcasts, and scouting out the best cup of coffee in the city.