Travel obsession links to people’s mental distress

Traveling feels amazing. It opens up new perspectives and brings new adventures and acquaintances. It can enrich your life in multiple ways. I’m personally very grateful for all those places I’ve been and sometimes I wish I could go back in time to experience it again. I can only recommend travelling especially to young people because those days were the best ones in my life. However there are some drawbacks I’d like to mention. These days I perceive travelling obsession as a social trend rising and it makes me wondering if it is sustainable and how is it connected with human mental health. I observe two motives here.

Keeping up with Kardashians… I mean we’re still stupid human beings and we WANT what we see others have.

When I first went working abroad there weren’t many people my age doing it. The same year I discovered Instagram while working in the USA, yet not many people in my home country was using it or even knew it exists. Since that time travelling rapidly expanded. I believe  social media plays a significant role in this regard. I mean we’re still stupid human beings and we want what we see others have. Also many people still don’t perceive social media as a serious marketing tool resulting in inability to resist advertising by paid influencers. 

It is cool to travel and it represents new lever of living standard. Since our material needs are fully satisfied, attention is paid more on immaterial experiences. Believe it or not, travelling is just another product promoted by marketing in the age of consumerism. There is huge industry around travelling whose sustainability under current conditions is questionable. Yet there is still decent amount of people who are just travelling because they want to post cool pictures on their instagram or because they want to catch up on the kitchen conversation with their co-workers at work so they don’t seem so lame. 

What are you going to do after you visit each and every country on this planet, ha? Ughh, boring?

And guess what? Marginal utility also applies to travelling as it is the product to be consumed. Meaning the more you consume, the less utility it gives you. More you travel, less exciting and enriching it becomes.

Getting lost and finding yourself… I still don’t know what I should do with my life.

In this case you go abroad either to study or work for longer period of time in order to experience living in foreign country. This type of travelling is promoted using the emotion of freedom. You want to get out of your comfort zone and experience adventure. What do you want to free yourself from? You want to be free from stereotype, everyday boredom, employment and familiar environment. 

Guess what? Even abroad you’ll fall into a stereotype after some time. Unless you want to experience being poor and starving. When this happens you might consider to move elsewhere. But guess what? It will chase you no matter where you go because you keep traveling with the same restless mind of your own. 

Hey my brain is so big from inside that I’ve got lost in here! It’s like the Hermione’s bottomless bag!

Travel obsession makes you want to change your external venue while neglecting your inner one. If there is some kind of underlying issue you haven’t been able to resolve so far, it will always emerge after some time. Environmental change is only temporary distraction in this case. The issues can be e.g. bad relationships, family issues, sense of purposelessness at work, not knowing what you want from life, low self-esteem, depression, following social trends, money chasing etc.

So you keep changing places until you realize there is no escape. The issue will always emerge after some time. It almost feels like some type of chronic disease. And here comes the hardest part – after you realize there is no escape, you go back home and face the skeletons in your closet. Just deal with it. 

I travell so much that I’ve lost home and I can’t find it!

I’d like to mention also the fact that changing places repetitively in long term is exhausting. You’re detaching from your belongings, familiar people and city which demands certain amount of energy and money. To plan, to move, to settle, to get used to the environment, to get to know new people, to find a good job and become good at it, to discover nice places, to face money stress because you need more savings for another move. You’re constantly using your energy for adapting to the new environment instead of creating or building something. There are also thoughts of the relationships and jobs being always temporary running in the back of your mind which brings lack of stability and certainty and brings stress in return.


When you experience life abroad you will be more grateful for living in your homeland. You’ll suddenly see the beauties which you took for granted before. Some places might be better that others but no matter where you go there will always be something bothering you. If you explore your mind a bit and recognize your motives for travelling maybe you’ll figure out that it is not your external venue which needs upgrade but you mind. You’re carrying your mental baggage with you all the time anyway.

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