Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
This post is more personal than usual. I just returned from a trip to Peru with a friend. Loved Macchu Picchu, parts of Lima, Agua Callientes, and Cuzcos. Most of all, I loved the act of travel, even the long flights, waits, train and bus rides and lots of walking. It's therapeutic for me to travel, whether alone or accompanied. I always learn as much about myself as I do about the places I visit. I think that's a common experience for anyone willing to be introspective. Here' what I learned:
1. I'm more shy than I thought. My friend talked with everyone, even not speaking their language, and touched people freely in a friendly way. I stood back and remained selective in associating withjust a few folks who appealed to me. I'm not a snob, just more introverted than she.
2. I study parent-child relationships whereever I go. In Peru, I saw more overprotection, like carrying 3 yr. olds and pushing 4 yr. olds in strollers than I'm used to.
3. I'm cheap about small things, old conditioning, not news but a reminder. I didn't buy enough souvenirs or good deal clothes, like baby alpaca sweaters, because I take pride in taking a trip like this cheaply. Maybe short-sighted in the long run.
4. I like eating small amounts of food often than a big meal at once, my travel style, rather than homelife style. It feels healthier to eat just enough and just when hungry.
5. I am eternally grateful for my opportunities but take credit for making the choice to gain experience rather than more stuff. I'll put off getting a new used car.
6. I can be repetitive but not always tolerant of others who are.
There's more, but I hope you get the idea that self-observation, learning and re-learning about yourself from whatever experiences you're having will give you an understanding, appreciation, and acceptance of yourself which feels wholesome and true. Whatever you gain will, hopefully, result in greater sensitivity and wisdom.